Reliance on God is true stimulus for stressful economic times


POSTED: Saturday, February 21, 2009

If we commit our way to God, walk uprightly and seek first the kingdom of God, the Bible promises “;all these things shall be added unto you.”;

In economic times such as these, we ask, Is it safe to trust this Bible promise? Shouldn't we first be doing everything within our power to find jobs, find bargains, figure out how we're going to get through the financial crisis facing all of us? It might be a leap of faith, a giant step, to do a 180-degree turn away from mesmeric worry and wholly seek God first.

But if we do, not with mere positive or wishful thinking, but with confidence in God's goodness and faithfulness, the foot will fall not into a void, but will be on the same solid ground where prophets, disciples and Jesus walked before us. Jesus found tax money in a fish's mouth and fed thousands with a few loaves and fishes. We might not be able to work out the calculus of what Jesus did, but, with his example and his command to us to do likewise, maybe we could do simple arithmetic. We can strive to have as much faith as a little grain of mustard seed. Following in Christ's path to the degree we understand it, walking in the Christ light as we're able to discern it, we find an inexhaustible source of joy, prosperity and health from an infinite, loving God.

In an economically stressful time for me during my college days, I needed money to live between undergrad studies, which I finished midyear, and graduate school starting in the fall. Would it be wrong to take a permanent job knowing I intended to soon quit it? I followed Jesus' instruction to go into the closet to pray and to shut the door and pray in secret in this quiet place. And it was quiet when I shut the door on the onslaught of worrisome thoughts.

I looked to God for assurance that He knew what I needed and was supplying it. That he loved me and all. That there was never a time when He was not active for good in human experience when we turn to Him rightly. I was helped by reading accounts of others who prayed, as I was doing, and were blessed with concrete, practical answers. The fear and concern were fading away. During this time, God and God's will became my first pursuit, too, where all the things that I needed would be added unto me. I spent that afternoon praying in a Christian Science reading room.

When I returned home, my roommate said professor Bowman had called.

“;That's a job!”; I replied. It was a job astoundingly tailor-made for me. I would start grad school early; the work would qualify as my outside intern project necessary to graduate; the pay was more than adequate. The choices I'd outlined for myself fell woefully short of the masterly plan that was within the realm of God's love and ability to supply. Another contribution of this work showed me that God's blessing is expansive; it became part of a book that addressed quality-of-life issues in urban settings.

Can God direct our lives and meet our daily needs? For those of us who pray, and for those haven't lately but might now be in a foxhole, I say let's stave off the burdensome feeling that we have to go it alone, make our own decisions and find our own way. Let's put the talent of praying, such as we have, to good use and turn to our Father-Mother in heaven. This divine relative of ours is a constant source of good who doesn't even know a downturn of any kind.


Ginny Aycock is a member and reader of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Honolulu.