Leaving lack behind
IN a world where millions are struggling with severe poverty, it's important that we all come more fully to understand God's care for man. Infinite divine Love does care for the needs of its creation. The demand is that this spiritual truth be more widely recognized and proved through worship of the one God. Essential to this worship is our living in accord with divine law--our being honest, unselfish, pure, compassionate. This awakens us to Love's care. And our own awakening inevitably blesses humanity as a whole.
The Psalmist sang, ``The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.'' 1 This familiar psalm is not just a hope or a wish but a statement of spiritual fact. Because our heavenly Father is constantly providing for His offspring, we can't, from a spiritual standpoint, really be in want. So if we're without what is necessary and good, there is an answer, and it can be found by learning more about our Shepherd. Our proofs in this direction are one way we can support those facing more severe challenges.
How does our Father-Mother God take care of us? Deity, as the Scriptures say, is divine Spirit, and infinite Spirit doesn't produce things. Yet it does care for our present needs. In a fundamental sense, isn't our need always for God-derived thoughts and qualities? If, for instance, we need to find a job, don't we need hope, courage, intelligence, persistence? If we need to be a better employee, don't we need wisdom, humility, creativity?
Our Shepherd provides all that we need to overcome the obstacles to our progress. Whether roadblocks are thrown up by other people or by our own sense of inadequacy, we can feel God's nurturing, guiding presence. Nothing can hold back divine direction and its transforming power in our lives.
Sometimes we don't see the wealth of good coming from Love because we're looking in the wrong direction. We may be pinning our hopes on certain people or on a turn of luck or a change in the economic climate. These are all false trusts.
We have to look Spiritward and trust God supremely in order to receive the direction our Shepherd is always supplying. We hear God's thoughts through spiritual sense. This is our capacity, cultivated through prayer, to love God above all else and perceive His good.
There may be times when we humbly turn to God for help and then disregard His guidance. Human will tends to protest with, ``I can't do that,'' or ``That can't possibly be the answer for me.''
We have to set aside personal preferences and limited, personal viewpoints when turning to God for direction. We have to be as meek and obedient as sheep and actually follow the spiritual intuitions that come to us. Then we experience divine Love's provision. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea.'' 2
There was a point in my life when I faced quite a financial challenge. I had switched careers, becoming self-em- ployed. At the outset I had substantial savings that made this transition possible. But the savings dwindled long before the new business was off the ground. There were months of late rent payments and meager meals.
Feeling that the job change had been God-impelled, I didn't consider going back to my former employer. But I knew there had to be progress, and soon.
In prayer I turned humbly to divine Love to discern how I might be more productive in my new work. I prayed to understand more clearly that God was governing my whole being.
Gradually, a new thought dawned on me. I realized that I could begin to share in print some of what I was learning professionally. Through tremendous effort and continued prayer, I was able to write several articles that were subsequently published and paid for. This activity grew, and in many ways sustained me until my new enterprise prospered.
This was not something I would personally have chosen to do. But I felt it was evidence that God was caring for me in tangible ways.
Since God is a tender Shepherd to all, we can refuse to tolerate lack for ourselves or anyone. This is a demand of spiritual growth, of our worship of the one God. Divine Love is even now feeding each of its children with sustaining ideas. In prayer we can hear what Love is revealing. And we can heed our Shepherd's voice. It's the only sure way to leave lack behind.
1 Psalms 23:1. 2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 323-324. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11