Finding a path out of poverty
TO someone struggling with poverty, getting free may seem impossible. But it isn't impossible. The Bible tells us, ``With God all things are possible.'' 1 There is no desperation so deep that God can't lift us out of it. God is all-powerful. God's love has no limits. So we don't have to despair or be afraid, even when things seem impossibly stacked against us. The current Monitor series on poverty calls for compassionate response and heartfelt prayer. When the challenges seem great and solutions not so obvious, we need to admit the potency of prayer to inspire solutions.
When it appears there is no way for someone to have access to what he or she needs, we need to remember that everyone has access to God. There is now a reality beyond the ``brick wall'' of insurmountable limitation, and we can discern that spiritual reality of God's impartial, supreme goodness through communion with Him. We can come to feel it as the actual fact of everyone's being and begin to see evidence of that fact. No one can be cut off from the goodness God ordains for every one of His children.
The Bible relates the story of a widow who was deeply in debt and had children to care for. The customs of those days made the situation especially desperate, because the creditors actually had the authority to take her sons away from her if she didn't pay the debt. Then a prophet of God helped her see how the debt could be legitimately paid. The infinite nature of God's love and resources was proved when the small amount of oil she had was increased sufficiently to enable her to pay off the debt by selling the oil. And the money remaining enabled her and her family to live free from poverty.2
Christ Jesus' ministry was the supreme illustration of God's love caring for human needs--feeding hungry people, healing sickness, restoring broken lives. The same spiritual power operating then is operating now.
The notion that some people are destined to lifetimes or even generations of poverty is not in line with the Biblical teaching of God's infinite love and man's God-given dominion. Such a notion is simply unacceptable to caring, thinking Christians. If the basis of this notion is the idea that inequality can't be surmounted, that unhappy conviction can be dissolved through a clear sense of the true nature of God's creation. God created man in His own image, to have dominion. The man of God's creating is neither a superior nor a deprived mortal but is His immortal, blessed, spiritual likeness. This is true of us all, and the more we identify ourselves and others with this spiritual nature, the more we'll see it expressed. It is God's omnipotent will that every one of His children be blessed, with no one left out.
The Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy,3 has many encouraging ideas to share on this subject. It says, for example: ``It is not well to imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number or for a limited period of time, since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good.
``The miracle of grace is no miracle to Love.'' 4
Sticking to this spiritual truth, having deep faith in it, is a prayer in itself, a prayer that can support the awakening of human thought which will ripen into action--into the practical expression of whatever qualities are needed to lift one out of trouble. Growing in our spiritual conviction of the present power of God's love, we can rout out the ignorance, racism, apathy, and fear that would trap people in a rut of poverty. Holding fast in prayer to the spiritual fact that we are God's offspring, His beloved children, destined only to glorify Him and be blessed by Him, we can see more of what is truly possible for those labeled ``poor.'' Because all things are possible to God, and therefore to His image and likeness, we must expect--in fact, we must demand--to see the evidence of this in all areas of life, including education, employment, housing, health, and permanent progress for everyone.
1 Matthew 19:26. 2 See II Kings 4:1-7. 3 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 4 Science and Health, p. 494. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. Lamentations 3:25