Lesson of the white phacelia
A Christian Science perspective on daily life.
There's a lesson to be learned from a flower called white phacelia. The sign on a nature trail in America's Northwest describes it this way: "White Phacelia thrives on dry rocky slopes where high winds and shifting soils are a fact of life. It is often surrounded by only rocks and gravel, growing alone in conditions too rugged for other plants."
Sometimes during difficult times – when we're unemployed, have difficulty finding or keeping a home, or are struggling with soaring prices for fuel – our own lives might seem suddenly transplanted to dry rocky slopes and rugged conditions. In such circumstances, we can consider that the white phacelia survives regardless of harsh elements, and that God, its Creator and ours, will take care of us, too.
The Bible tells the life stories of individuals who survived and grew stronger in tough times by relying on God. Joseph, a favored son, was thrown into a pit by his jealous brothers, and later sold into slavery by the merchants who found him. After many trials, including unjust imprisonment, he ultimately became second only to Pharaoh in ruling over Egypt. God gave him the wisdom to put aside food for the people during a time of plenty, so when famine struck, they would have enough to eat. And through his humility and obedience to God, he was also reconciled with his brothers.
Moses led the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt, but at first the conditions were harsh. Wandering in the wilderness, they cried out to Moses in anger over the life they'd left behind. Moses prayed, and as a result God gave them manna in the morning and quails to eat at night. These sustained them during their journey. The Israelites gathered exactly the amount of manna they needed – no more, no less. The account in Exodus reports, "He that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating" (16:18).
Both Joseph and Moses listened to God and were obedient to His direction, yet both were homeless at times during their lives. The action of Joseph's brothers took him far from his family and home. Moses killed a man and had to flee his home.
Whether people are suffering as a result of their own mistaken actions, the actions of others, or situations such as the struggling economy, they, too, can survive harsh conditions. Persevering through difficult times without blaming ourselves or others and by learning to rely on God can bring us through. Prayers to God in times of trials are answered, proving that His tender care is always present.
One family realized this when the father lost his job because the company he worked for went bankrupt. Their savings were depleted as they tried to cover everyday expenses. The parents struggled with fear of losing the financial stability they'd known all their lives. The family prayed earnestly for a solution, trusting in God for their supply, and each day they had the basic essentials, with enough money for food and house payments.
Then one day the father received a call from a friend who needed to hire someone with his qualifications. The friend hadn't even known that the father was unemployed. The family moved to a new city for that job, and the mother was also able to secure a position. They obtained a loan to purchase a home, and the dinners where the food had been sparse became a time for sharing good food and fun talk about their day. They had all they needed.
Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper and discovered Christian Science, wrote: "God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment" ("Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896," p. 307).
Deuteronomy 32:3, 4