Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
Another contract job. Another move to a distant city. Belongings to be packed, new schools for the kids, housing to secure, and uncertainty about the future. This had become my family's lifestyle.
Don't get me wrong. We were very grateful for work in my husband's crowded career field. And listening to God's direction during those moves had brought us many blessings, meeting all our needs. Yet, how I wished we could settle down somewhere.
My husband and I have always relied on God in challenging times. We knew each step we were taking in our lives would prepare us for the next step. I constantly prayed with the idea that God never takes us only halfway.
When Mary Baker Eddy speaks of God in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," she asks the question: "Shall we plead for more at the open fount, which is pouring forth more than we accept?" (page 2). Certainly, a God like that would not mete out just enough for us to squeak by, nor would He give abundance to some and poverty to others.
During this second move, in as many years, we were on our way cross-country for another temporary position, when another challenge was thrown in our path. I began to have painful spasms in one of my legs two days short of our destination. Apparently, the blood in my leg was not circulating properly. I was no longer able to help my husband with the driving.
Relying on God to heal physical difficulties is as natural for me as looking to Him for help with employment needs. So, I turned to prayer for help with this as well. Again, the thought of not being taken halfway was helpful. I knew God had brought us to this place and would give me the strength and mobility I needed to complete the move to our new home.
I was able to do all the physical work required, but my leg continued to be uncomfortable over the next couple of weeks. The pain was particularly acute at night, making sleep difficult. I spent a good deal of my nights in prayer, facing down my fears. Jesus' admonition to his followers recorded in the book of Luke in the Bible, greatly comforted me: "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (12:32). I loved the idea that a shepherd would never have left one of his sheep out in the field. He would have found every sheep and led each one safely all the way home. Wasn't Jesus telling us we were lovingly cared for like those sheep? So we don't need to be afraid that we have somehow been forgotten.
Later the book of Luke records Jesus speaking again of the kingdom when some detractors asked him when the kingdom of God would come. Jesus' reply was remarkable. He told his audience that "the kingdom of God is within you" (17:21). I reasoned that since I carried that kingdom within me, I could never be outside it - never desperately trying to find a way into it. We certainly can't be taken just halfway to a place that is already within us. That "place" includes peace of mind, good health, employment, and everything else we need.
During one of those difficult nights, it occurred to me that I had resented the fact that our many moves, as well as some other family circumstances, had restricted our social circulation. I felt as if we never had a chance to make real friends since we would move as soon as we got to know people.
But this kind of resentful thinking did not resonate with Jesus' promise that God would give us the kingdom. It became much clearer to me that God's love flows freely, unobstructed by any human situation. There was nothing in my body or our circumstances that could block the continuous presence and circulation of God's goodness.
Within about three weeks of the initial leg pains, I was completely healed of the circulation problem. The adjustment in my thinking away from resentment, and a renewed focus on our permanent place in God's kingdom brought the needed change to my body. Our social and employment circumstances also improved. The next move brought my husband longer-term employment. The contract work he'd done prepared him well for this new job.
God had indeed taken us all the way. The presence of God's kingdom on earth was palpable to me. Truly, through all the moves, we had never been outside that kingdom. It had always been with us.