Lots of media attention has been focused on economic crises in the United States lately â€“ from the fiscal cliff to the â€śsequesterâ€ť to the debt ceiling. Pundits and politicians are concerned about what will happen to the economy as tax cuts expire or as spending cuts kick in. But while itâ€™s important to understand whatâ€™s happening in the news, we can also rely on our universal Father-Mother, God, to tell us where our true source of supply comes from.
Elijah, the prophet, had to exercise this kind of spiritual reliance during a time of extreme drought and famine (see I Kings 18). God spoke to him and told him to let Ahab, the King of Israel, know there would be rain. Elijah obeyed, and said to Ahab, â€śGet thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rainâ€ť (I Kings 18:41). At that point, there was no indication of rain â€“ but Elijah climbed up to Mt. Carmel and directed his servant to look for clouds. Initially, his servant saw nothing, but Elijah commanded him to look again seven times. Sure enough, on the seventh time, his servant saw â€śa little cloud out of the sea, like a manâ€™s hand.â€ť I Kings goes on to record, â€śAnd it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain.â€ť
Elijah was so sure that God would break the drought and bring rain that he described it as the â€śsound of abundanceâ€ť even before this abundance was evident to a casual observer. Could it be that Godâ€™s promise was so tangible to Elijah that he actually heard it before it appeared? He wasnâ€™t listening to famished thoughts of drought, but to the truth of what God was revealing about the continuity of His own abundant goodness. Furthermore, Elijah didnâ€™t waver in his conviction â€“ even though his servant looked six times and still saw no rain. Elijah clearly felt no apprehension that God wouldnâ€™t come through, and continued to cling to the divine promise of Godâ€™s enduring goodness. And when his servant at first saw a â€ślittle cloud,â€ť Elijah didnâ€™t limit Godâ€™s promise by saying, â€śOh, well, God came through but itâ€™s only a little bit of rain.â€ť His example showed that whatever God does must be abundant.
Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy amplified this idea in her book â€śScience and Health with Key to the Scriptures:â€ť â€śMetaphysics resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul.
"These ideas are perfectly real and tangible to spiritual consciousness, and they have this advantage over the objects and thoughts of material sense, â€“ they are good and eternalâ€ť (p. 269).
Elijahâ€™s experience offers some useful guidance as to how we can pray about our own economy. Instead of getting wrapped up in dire predictions of economic disaster, canâ€™t we instead listen to Godâ€™s â€śsound of abundanceâ€ť â€“ clinging to the assurance that divine Love will meet our every need?
Mind, a synonym for God, supplies us with abundant ideas and creative solutions for resolving economic challenges. Perhaps the â€śsound of abundanceâ€ť means claiming divine Truthâ€™s outpouring of clarity, integrity, and courage to our legislators to make wise decisions. Or maybe it means claiming the presence of divine intelligence to remove divisions, bipartisanship, and gridlock while fostering the humility, receptivity, and willingness to consider new ideas. Like Elijah, we can stand fast with these divine facts â€“ trusting God, the giver of all good, to fulfill His promises.
Letâ€™s keep listening to Godâ€™s â€śsound of abundance,â€ť and be prepared for an outpouring of innovative ideas that will bless economies and countries the world over.