Freed from a devastating financial penalty

Sometimes things come up in life that are unjust or unfair – or seem downright threatening to some aspect of our life, such as our finances. For one woman in such a case, moving beyond willfulness and frustration, and leaning on God for help, was essential.

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A bank loan payment missed because of an auto-pay glitch caused the already excessive interest rate on the loan to leap to one higher than any credit card! That was devastating news about 15 years ago when I had a restaurant and an antiques business in New York City. I was afraid it could ruin my finances and threaten my businesses, as it was a sizable long-term loan that I had no way to pay off except through monthly payments.

This was during a period when bankers were hurting as much as consumers, so I found no sympathy when I repeatedly called to plead that this was surely a mistake. My banker agreed it was unfair, bordering on usury, but said he had no authority to undo the underwriter’s decision. Feeling helpless himself, he stopped taking my calls. I simply got madder and madder, and began leaving angry messages, which didn’t feel right either.

I felt completely defeated and knew there was only one place to turn. As a lifelong student of the Bible, I had found great value in its guidance for challenges of every kind. So I felt confident I could trust in it once again. I found this passage: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10, New King James Version). And a passage from a book that always companions my Bible study, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, also provided a way forward: “Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way. Right motives give pinions to thought, and strength and freedom to speech and action” (p. 454).

It was clear I needed to let go of the hatred and desperation, and through my study of the Bible and Science and Health I knew I could let go of them. I understood that such negative traits were no part of my spiritual nature, or anyone else’s, as God’s expression. I was able to see that the individuals involved were free from blame, and that also released me from thinking they could somehow separate me from the source of all good, the all-loving, ever-present, and all-powerful God.

Since my supply and well-being came from this infinite source, divine Truth and Love (two other names for God), no person or circumstance could trap me in a threatening situation. By understanding and expressing Love, I could expect to find a way to be lifted out of the angry and fearful thoughts. Divine Love would show me the way forward, and I could trust that same Love was governing everyone, not just me.

As I contemplated these powerful ideas, I recalled a credit card I had that had offered a good balance transfer rate. When I looked into it, I found the card had expired long ago. But I still felt compelled to call. My previous experience in dealing with credit-card companies was not positive. However, the woman who answered the phone that day could not have been nicer if she’d been my own mother!

When I asked if I could possibly do a balance transfer to lower my rate, she immediately said in a joyous voice, “Why, of course!” After taking a look, she found me a rate four times lower than the one I’d lost through that auto-pay glitch. I nearly dropped the phone. I wasn’t talking to someone impersonally reading from a rule book, but speaking instead with someone who was willing and ready, and had the authority to help me. In order to complete the transfer, she needed a piece of information that I couldn’t find, and I said I’d have to go look for it. She assured me that she would wait on the phone as long as needed, and she did.

“Who is this woman?” I asked myself. And I knew the answer – she’s a child of God, just like me and everyone! She was the expression of God’s goodness, and I was seeing this spiritual individuality manifested in her compassion and wisdom. While such “good deals” often last just a short period and then return to a high rate, she assured me this one lasted until the loan was fully paid.

The financial benefit was a great relief. But the real blessing was in knowing I could turn to God, listen for Love’s guidance, and free my thought from seeing anyone or any situation as not under God’s control. The truth that divine wisdom is always in control is God’s promise to all of His creation, and I’m so grateful that we can prove this in our lives.

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