Good that can’t be stopped

Sometimes it can seem that goodness can run out. But as a family experienced after one of them lost his job, recognizing God as the source of unlimited good empowers us to experience that goodness more consistently in our everyday lives.

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Does it ever seem as though good is limited and can come and go at any time?

There have certainly been times when I felt that way. But I’ve also found that even during tough times, we can look to God’s powerful goodness, which – similar to rays of sunshine bursting through dark clouds – reaches receptive hearts and homes everywhere.

For six months during the pandemic, my husband and I experienced the joy of having all three of our grown children home, and what had been an “empty nesting” period for us suddenly became a large household again. So when my husband was told that his work-from-home position would be ending, it felt like a threatening cloud.

We had experienced other challenging lapses in employment and income during our marriage, each time facing our fears with prayer, and each instance resulting in gainful employment or supply that always met our family’s needs. So it was again natural for us to turn to God for an answer.

But this time felt different. The prayers we had committed to similar issues in the past felt like pillars of strength holding us up above the waves of what-ifs and concern for the future.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible provided needed strength and comfort: “‘Try Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it’” (Malachi 3:10, New King James Version). This reassured me that God’s goodness is never not enough or almost enough, but overflowing and abundant for all.

Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy explains in the textbook of Christian Science, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 494). Material income can fluctuate or be limited, so it’s not a reliable source of supply. But divine Love, another name for God, expresses boundless inspiration, creativity, and purpose in all His children. God doesn’t only sometimes provide opportunities to put such qualities to use, but always has and always will.

This very column and other Christian Science publications are full of modern-day examples of this. There are also biblical accounts of this providence. For instance, the prophet Elijah proved God’s ever present goodness during a time of drought and food scarcity in his country (see I Kings, chap. 17). God tells him to go to a widow and essentially ask her to give him the last of her food.

This woman expresses a lot of trust when she agrees to share what she has even in the face of great scarcity and lack. Based on God’s guidance, Elijah promises the woman that she will not run out of food before the drought ends. And that proves to be the case.

Our consistent prayers during this time, inspired by ideas along these lines, removed the fear that can lead to discord in the home. Instead we felt buoyed by the peace and trust in God that come from recognizing that divine supply is not limited. Each time a specific concern arose, prayer would bring a solid conviction that I could remain joyful and hopeful and that my husband’s skills were both needed and valued. It wasn’t long before my husband was able to seamlessly move to a similar position, where he remains today.

Each of us can bear witness to the power of divine good that just keeps flowing and cannot be shut down. Whatever our need is today, we can let God show us how His goodness is pouring out its blessing.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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