Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 494). How does a seemingly abstract “divine Love” meet a seemingly concrete “human need”?
During a widespread drought, the prophet Elijah was directed by the Lord to go into the town of Zarephath, where God made it known to Elijah that he would find a certain widow who would sustain him (see I Kings 17). Obediently, he found this woman, but she had so little that she was incapable of sustaining herself, much less anyone else. With only a handful of meal and a little oil left, she planned to cook a final meal for herself and her son and then die.
Elijah told her, “Fear not,” and he directed her to use the meal to make a little cake for him first, and then for herself and her son. He promised her that neither the cruse of oil nor the meal would fail until rains came to end the drought. The woman obeyed Elijah’s directive, and afterward, the oil and the meal continued to feed her, her son, and Elijah as he’d promised.
How could Elijah be so confident the meal and cruse of oil would not fail, even before this phenomenon actually took place? In Philippians, Paul writes, “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (4:19). Though Elijah’s time was well before Christ Jesus’ ministry, Elijah trusted in the same loving God that Jesus represented as able to supply the need.
God provides all of us, His spiritual creation, with all we need.
From Elijah to Paul to the discovery of Christian Science by Mrs. Eddy, and to the present day, the fact remains that God, Spirit, is our true source of supply. Supply, then, is wholly spiritual in its origin; understanding this brings fruition in our human experience. Eddy writes: “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).
Several years ago, when I was on the board of my local branch Church of Christ, Scientist, we considered a request for a new organ at a significant cost. At one point, I held up an accounting spreadsheet and said, “We can’t afford such a costly organ.” Immediately, another board member replied along the lines of, “Steve, I don’t think we should look to a spreadsheet to show us what the true source of our supply is.”
The statement woke me up. I knew she was right, and my limited thinking was justly corrected. I understood that she was not advocating unwise decision making, but pointing me to the fact that God provides all of us, His spiritual creation, with all we need. Through prayer we can expect to see evidence of this spiritual truth in our everyday lives.
Within three days of that meeting, I received a phone call informing me that someone who had attended our church decades earlier wanted to make a donation, and was wondering if we needed anything in particular. This person had no idea that I was on the board of the church or that we had a need at that very moment. I explained about the organ, and shortly afterward we learned that the individual would be sending a check for the entire amount needed. The irony that I, initially the doubting Thomas, was the one this person had reached out to in ultimately meeting our church’s need was not lost on my thought, and I pondered the lesson further.
I came to see that this lesson of where we look for supply transfers to another important aspect of our lives: Where do we look for our supply of health? Do we look to our “concrete” physical body like a spreadsheet, hoping for profits or fearful of deficits? Either way, we’re being tempted by mortal mind—the counterfeit of the one Mind, God—to believe that our well-being is dependent upon limited matter and its apparent, sometimes discouraging, conditions, much like the widow left with only a cruse of oil and a handful of meal.
But Christian Science presents a powerful alternative to ceding legitimacy to mortal mind’s limited, material picture. Eddy writes, “We should look away from the opposite supposition that man is created materially, and turn our gaze to the spiritual record of creation, to that which should be engraved on the understanding and heart ‘with the point of a diamond’ and the pen of an angel” (Science and Health, p. 521).
What is this “spiritual record of creation” to which we should “turn our gaze”? The first chapter of Genesis informs us that God created man in His image and that what He created was “very good” (see verses 26, 27, 31). The “record” toward which we must look, then, is the record of our divine origin and source.
To acknowledge that God is our source is to recognize that our being, our very life, is completely supplied and sustained by divine, infinite Life. Could this sustaining Life ever supply us with anything opposed to itself, such as evil, lack, disease, sickness, sin, or death? No! Not coming from the infinitude of God, good, these have no true supplier at all and, therefore, must be errors of sense, or mere negations. They may appear as real—as deficits on the spreadsheet of mortal mind and body—but since they have no presence in the Life that is God, they have no true presence anywhere.
We can realize our God-given dominion over the errors, the false beliefs, that would deny God’s provision of infinite goodness, and thus demonstrate the unreality of those claims. As we tune in to the Christ-message of God’s infinite care, we come to see that evil has no source, that lack has no reality, and that sin, sickness, disease, discord, and death can never diminish Life. This comforting Christ-message originates from our true source and supplier, God, and comes to human thought, bringing with it the inspiration that meets our need for peace, health, wisdom, provision, spiritual understanding, healing.
Jesus said, “Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:8). Based on Jesus’ teachings, we can confidently trust that we are never disconnected from our all-knowing source, the Father who loves us and supplies our every need.
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