God-given opportunities are yours

God has created each person to thrive.

As we engage with people each day, we realize that everyone wants to be happy, to see their practical needs met, and to enjoy realized purpose. Everyone wants to have a safe and productive life. Humanity cherishes its right—often seen as only a hoped-for dream—to live life to the fullest. Yet, today many people feel under fire. In some cases they are literally in a war zone. In other cases, it’s because of health, housing, or education limitations, often seeming too complex and long-standing to solve. And reactions to inequity of opportunity often drive people to separate corners, ready to battle it out with a variety of opinions and competing plans.

As a student of Christian Science, I’ve learned that the opportunity to live freely and make progress is God’s plan for every man, woman, and child. God is the one, infinitely good Father-Mother who has loved each one of us into being. More than ever, these times call for unselfish prayer to realize that goodness is normal and provable for everyone, and that it’s not impossibly idealistic to expect opportunity to exist for everyone on the planet.

The reason we universally value opportunities is that we are each created to express the “producing, governing, divine Principle”—as the founder of this magazine, Mary Baker Eddy, describes God in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 81). The divine Principle does not fail to create opportunities for its ideas to be productive. 

According to Genesis 1 in the Bible, God has created man in His likeness, so it makes sense that we already include whatever is needed to make progress. Solutions appear when our thinking aligns with God, whose divine law is the giver of all good.

Before we accept a job, we may research the character of the person we would be working for. So, wouldn’t it make sense to research the nature of God if we claim God is the cause of our good? The qualities and nature of God that Christian Science teaches—that God is the infinitely good, creative Mind or Spirit, always present, always acting to love and bless every idea created—transform our thought, and we experience more of that good. 

We experience blessings, adapted to our own needs, when we discern the everywhere presence of divine Mind. How? Christ Jesus taught us to know God, and living and thinking on the basis of this Christly knowledge expands our experience and can heal physical difficulties as well as threats to life purpose. When giving his followers the Lord’s Prayer (see Matthew 6:9–13), Jesus instructed them to pray to God as “our Father,” and this wording in the very first line implies that God’s love is universally inclusive instead of limited and reserved for a chosen few. 

In my case, as I realized that individual interests, talents, integrity, intelligence, and love of good are created by God, I saw and began to trust that opportunity and individual progress go hand in hand. I found myself thinking, Wouldn’t it be natural and right that an infinite, principled Mind, providing every good quality that we each have, would also supply the necessary opportunities to express those God-derived qualities? Of course!

I have tried to apply this understanding when praying about whatever needs to be corrected, healed, or resolved in my own life as well as when praying for others or the world. We can always start thinking from the nature of a good God as the only cause of our being—from what divine Love itself is and does. It bears repeating that infinite Love wouldn’t create an individual with the intelligence to recognize and desire good, yet not provide the opportunity for the practical appearance of that good. 

Science and Health speaks to this promised result of heartfelt connecting with God: “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (p. 494). Conversely, the notion of restricted opportunity is unprincipled, unlawful, and un-Godlike. 

Realizing that God has created each person to thrive negates nagging discouragement and hopelessness about world, national, and community challenges. The same realization will also eliminate the tendency to lean on personal, limited resources and will lift off the feeling of being stymied when it comes to our life purpose.

I’ve been freed from that stymied feeling in various ways. For example, I’ve loved music in many forms since childhood. As I’ve prayed to live God’s love better, pianos that I couldn’t afford have come to me three times in remarkable ways. In each case, the circumstances made it clear that it was divine Love meeting needs—giving me what I loved so much, through which I could also give to others. Needed income for our family came through musical opportunities offered to me, although I was not a professional musician. To see God provide what we love, not just want, is incredibly comforting. 

On one occasion, a teaching position in a secondary school was very troublesome. Although our family needed the money, I prayed for several months to hear Mind’s direction in relation to whether resigning was the right way forward. As I persistently set aside personal motivations, I finally gained a deep confidence that God would naturally cause the right opportunity for me going forward. 

That week I was offered another position. The only problem was that it paid much less than the job I had, a serious concern for our family’s finances. But I continued to pray to acknowledge that the Mind that governs all surely had only good planned for me and my family; I felt deeply that God’s provision was more real than fear of a missed or weakened opportunity. 

I leaned on a passage from the book of Isaiah that I have experienced many times as a specific direction to trust my prayer: “Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (30:21).

That week I was offered a musical position on the weekends that exactly matched the monetary reduction of the new job. All around, opportunities for both doing what I loved and having the needed funds were provided.

It grounds our trust to realize that it is always divine Love, in its intelligent governing of every one of us, that gives us uniquely tailored opportunities to express goodness. We are created to thrive.

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