Great expectations – despite hard times
A Christian Science perspective.
I have a young cat named Rufus. He's happy, confident, friendly, and fearless. And he has great expectations. He expects to be fed and to have treats afterward. In fact, he's not shy about asking for another treat just after he's had a treat. He doesn't just expect good; he expects abundant good. And each day his expectation is renewed.
Lately I've been trying harder to emulate that wonderful expectation more consistently in my own life. God has met my daily needs every day for my entire life, I remind myself, so why am I afraid He'll stop meeting them tomorrow? I shouldn't be, should I? After all, the Bible promises, "Ask, and it shall be given you" (Matt. 7:7). And every time I ask, I see His provision more clearly.
And yet over and over I find myself being afraid I won't have enough of whatever to meet my needs tomorrow. After all, the economy is in the pits, and people everywhere are having trouble making ends meet. I'm glad to say that this fear hasn't stopped God from providing for me with the same abundance that Rufus expects of his treats. In fact, God is always holding out His goodness to us, and when we turn to Him to ask for His provision, we can't help seeing what He's already giving us.
For example, I've been taking a week's vacation at the same place in Maine for the last 20 or 25 years. A couple of years ago, finances were tight, and some income hadn't come through as expected. It didn't look like I was going to be able to have a summer vacation that year at all.
I was praying about the financial situation, of course, but it didn't seem wise to spend on a vacation when money was so tight. Still, I thought often of something Mary Baker Eddy said in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," that "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need" (p. 494).
God's provision for our needs is all-encompassing. It includes everything we need in our daily lives, including restorative rest and recreation. And He supplies not just enough, but an abundance, making sure we always have exactly what we need to "restore our soul," as the 23rd Psalm describes it.
I really needed the break this vacation would provide, so I asked God for it with all my heart. I wasn't asking for something selfish, but for God to give me what I truly needed – whatever that would prove to be to revive my spirit and enable me to continue with a number of projects I was working on.
Then, seemingly out of the blue, the owners of the place in Maine contacted me and offered an amazing discount. They knew I'd been having some financial hardships, and they wanted to be sure I could come that year. They didn't come right out and say they'd prayed about how to help, but that was certainly the tone of the offer.
Well, grateful doesn't really cover how thrilled I was to know I'd have a relaxing and worry-free vacation. Rufus came, too – his first time, but not his last.
Of course, there was more to it than just the week in Maine. It was as if the floodgates had opened, and by the time I finally arrived, the financial situation had improved considerably. They wouldn't accept the full "retail" amount that would have been the normal charge, but they were persuaded to take more than the rock-bottom amount they'd offered.
Wow! What a great reminder of God's abundance. Every time I think about it, which is often, I also think of one of my favorite Bible verses: "I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality" (II Cor. 8:13, 14).
Do I still worry sometimes about what tomorrow may bring? Yes. Worry, anxiety, and full-blown fear of the future still try to intrude on my thoughts. But when I look at Rufus's unchanging expectation of good and remember how many, many ways God has already met my needs, it's a little easier to put the fear aside and trust that God will remain God, will remain good, and care for me, His child, as He has always done.