The divine economy in unstable times

Good seems to be tied to human effort. We work hard to “earn a living”—earn an income, which in turn enables us to buy what we need to live. So it seems that through our own efforts good things flow into our lives. 

But this logic has a troubling flip side: If something changes humanly, the flow of good can appear to be interrupted, even stopped. And taken to its ultimate, if there’s a big change, a macro change that affects things nationally or globally, the entire network of good can seem to be disrupted, resulting in massive human hardship.

Christian Science opens the door to a different view, a view of a spiritual economy made up of an infinite source and ceaseless distribution of constant divine goodness—continuous, uninterrupted, and independent of human factors. In this divine economy, good flows directly and unhindered from God to His idea, man. Christ Jesus described it this way: “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap . . . ; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” (Matthew 6:26). 

Man, being completely spiritual, has an unbroken connection to this pure, constant flow of good from divine Spirit. Human economic conditions don’t affect it. And this infinite impartation of good from God is equal to every demand that will ever be made on it. A frequently quoted sentence from the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, captures the loving, sufficient, eternal relationship of the divine to the human: “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (p. 494).

As our fledgling trust in God grows through humble prayer, we glimpse more of our spiritual nature and the far-reaching yet practical effects of the divine economy. The Bible is filled with examples of this. Take, for instance, the Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt written about in the Old Testament. As they left what they were familiar with and ventured forward following Moses, they did so hesitatingly because freedom meant the end of whatever meager material supports slavery had provided. They needed to learn how to trust in God’s care for them, even in the midst of what appeared to be desperate situations. They wondered, “Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?” (Psalms 78:19).

The answer to this question rolled out continuously over forty years as they journeyed through the wilderness to the Promised Land. Their food was provided in the unprecedented form of daily manna and quail. When they were parched in the desert, they prayed to God, and water gushed from a rock; more than enough water was provided for them—and for their animals, too. Even their clothes and shoes didn’t wear out. God provided an ongoing table in the wilderness then—and God continues to do so now.

In this divine economy, good flows directly and unhindered from God to His idea, man.

A friend of mine was once in desperate need of water. He and a companion had walked for days and had become so exhausted that they actually parted ways, determined to crawl off in different directions to die. At this point my friend prayed, “God, show me where the water is.” This was a simple, brief, direct prayer to an intelligent, loving, ever-present Father-Mother God. He prayed with a full faith that God would give him what he needed.

He then noticed an opening in the ground like a shaft. Easing himself into the darkness, he managed to climb down. At the bottom he found water. A few minutes later he climbed out and tracked down his friend. His simple appeal to the great heart of Love preserved them both after days of human effort had failed. 

Today, our world seems to be shifting in ways we’ve never seen. Record unemployment threatens economic disruption worldwide, fueling tension, worry, and doubt. For many, frustration and fear may crowd out peace and confidence.

Can the average individual and family enjoy the benefits of the divine economy today? Can one who has lost a job or a home or is reaching a point of desperation, awaken to the limitless ocean of spiritual good that has ever been theirs? Yes. 

For starters, we can stop thinking of ourselves as separate from God and therefore required to work things out without God’s help. Rather, we can affirm that we are actually spiritual ideas with a vital, unbroken connection to Spirit, the source of all good. The answer we need is necessarily a spiritual answer. God, Spirit, is always present, caring for us precisely, perfectly, without fail and without interruption. This is why we can claim that divine Love really always has met every human need, and always will, and that our particular need is not outside this efficient divine economy. Such truths, when understood, make room for the power of God to operate in our lives.

Since 1893 The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston has convened an annual meeting. In his 1972 report at one such meeting, Treasurer Roy Garrett Watson included a thought-provoking statement about turning away from the human to the divine: “The lie that income is insufficient is never to be met by materially increasing the income or reducing the expenses, but by the application of the Christly law that infinite substance is unfailingly and overflowingly sufficient to meet any demand made upon it” (The Christian Science Journal, August 1972).

We, as God’s spiritual ideas, are cared for and blessed without measure, without interruption. The ever-operating divine economy is available to each of us, regardless of who we are or the urgency of our situation. It will always sufficiently provide the progress and abundance we need, now and always.

David Hohle
Guest Editorial Writer

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