God’s Plentiful Supply
From the Christian Science Journal, March 1922, by Ethel Munro Goss
When the problem of lack or limitation keeps recurring in our experience, it must signify that in some way we have not grasped the spiritual facts which are needed to heal this discord. We may have thought of our problem in a merely perfunctory way, dismissing it with a vague general statement of the allness of God. It perhaps is not the same spur to our mental activity as is a question of pain or an ugly deformity. Or we may have struggled long and hopelessly, and the heavens have seemed as brass. Mankind is still tempted to say, as in the days of Moses, “My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.” When all human means fail, when to material sense the supply is still so inadequate to the demand, we have need still to pray, as Elisha did for his servant, that our eyes may be opened that we may be able to see Spirit’s ever present supply, or to rejoice with Habakkuk in the God of our salvation, though all the apparent sources of supply are closed up.
When Jesus was confronted with a hungry multitude and an inadequate supply of food, he did not meet their need with cold metaphysical statements; but he knew the spiritual facts relative to their need so well that he was able to prove the supply equal to the demand. That a loving Father-Mother God gives to His children the supply to meet the legitimate demands of life becomes more evident to us as we gain a clearer understanding of spiritual law and of a God who is always just. Jesus said,”If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” These words are just as true to-day as when he uttered them to the anxious hearts of his disciples. Their practical import, however, has been so obscured by the fogs of tradition and religious emotion that sometimes we need to remind ourselves that they apply to us literally to-day; for Jesus stated a divine law which is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever.
In order to avail ourselves of the protection of this law, we must learn to understand and obey it. If we were studying mathematics, we would not expect to work out a problem involving a difficult rule if we had not thoroughly mastered the simple rules of addition. Nor in the Science of Life can we expect to gain complete victory over discords if we do not take the time to learn patiently the simple rules of divine Science. The preceding words of Jesus have always formed part of the Christian teaching of mankind, but in this age we have a fuller revelation of their meaning, which is awakening us to the true understanding of obedience. When we see that these seemingly insistent demands for shelter, food, clothing, are only met by bringing thought into obedience to Christ, Truth, we begin to learn the necessity for seeking first the kingdom of God, and then we realize that, after all, this is our only need. As our understanding of God grows, naturally our environment improves. A sense of lack is a violation of spiritual law, and is healed by bringing all our thoughts into obedience to that law, by abiding in Him.
Because God is All, and man is His image and likeness, we have a right to all those things which are needed to manifest that man, to express the qualities of dignity, serenity, and the “beauty of holiness.” We need not be satisfied with the tawdry or the mean, but as we mentally lay hold of and try to reflect the spiritual qualities of the real man, shall we not naturally manifest all that is necessary to express them? For then we are seeking first the kingdom, and it is promised that “all these things” shall be added.
In the first thrill of this spiritual discovery we may try to go beyond what we have demonstrated, or we may fail to see the difference between a real need and a merely material longing. But as our thought becomes more spiritualized, we know that the demonstration of God’s supply to His children does not lead toward extremes of fashion, extravagant whims, or the mere decoration of person. The belief that one man is rich, while another is poor, belongs to the dream of material existence. In reality all men are free and equal, free to lay hold of the glorious heritage which is theirs, — dominion “over all the earth.” This exultant laying hold of the Father’s treasury is as far removed from self-indulgence, ambition, and pride, as Spirit is from matter. It is our growing scientific understanding of this treasure in heaven, which Jesus pointed out to the rich young man, that literally works out the problem of our temporal needs. In proportion as we possess this treasure, we demonstrate it in dominion and power. It is only material belief which makes wealth the standard of success. In the honest effort to buy “gold tried in the fire,” to be willing to be purged of the dross of materiality, we are rewarded by a fuller understanding of the completeness of God’s care for His creation. Our reward comes also in a greater love for our neighbor, as our thought is cleansed of any sense of superiority, class distinction, snobbery, and all the et ceteras of mortal mind which judge by the outward appearance.
Sometimes it may be false pride and a wrong sense of place that may obscure our vision. We must know that in God’s plan for His universe there is a right place for each one of us. Self-depreciation is just as material as self-glorification. Both states of thought are the belief of a selfhood apart from God; so is pride of character, and pride of family. These would all claim to obstruct and bedim our true individuality, which is a reflection of God. There is just one place for each one of us to be, and that is where our one particular note is needed in the universal harmony. No one else can fill this place, and we have all we need to express this spiritual idea. In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” (p. 70) Mrs. Eddy says, “The divine Mind maintains all identities, from a blade of grass to a star, as distinct and eternal.”
The radiant, rough-stemmed sunflower never tries to imitate the stately lily’s fragile loveliness. It wastes none of its time longing to be the glowing, velvet rose; yet no drop of bitterness hinders its message of joyous vitality as it nods its golden face in sun and rain. The lily breathes its pure, serene message to those whose need it fills, and all are clothed upon, to express an idea of divine Mind. “They toil not, neither do they spin,” to express the “beauty of holiness.” Behind toil and drudgery is fear, fear of the morrow, fear of old age, fear of a rainy day. This is a false law, which ever tries to oppose the revelation of Spirit, and would hinder dominion. There is no fear, no emulation, no false pride, in the Father’s business. Stately lily and wayside flower each, in its own place, joyfully declares the allness of God.
Whatever our work, it should never be for personal achievement, but to reflect the activity of divine Mind. As we thus identify our work and link it in our thought with the activity of that Mind which is expressed in the spiritual universe, we learn that in doing our part of it we can no more be hampered by lack than the stars in their shining. There is no daily duty, however humble, which may not be linked to this action of the universe, as we learn to think spiritually. This gives to our work order, serenity, and dignity, and must bring to us a just compensation.
In this demonstration of God’s supply there is no phenomenal rise out of bondage but a steady growth, as we reverently lay hold of these spiritual facts of existence. This increased knowledge of spiritual fact seems more wonderful than any miraculous change in our circumstances. Whether the belief which trespasses on our freedom be of poverty or pain, we are to that extent in the land of bondage, and no amount of self-pity will ever show us the way out. There is only one way out, and that way is spiritual, not material. It is the way of honesty and obedience. Truth’s trumpet call rings down the ages: “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Christian Science is unfolding to us daily the meaning of these words, and their practical application to everyday living. These words are no longer a doctrinal platform, but a radiant light that shows us the way. The way that has been revealed to us in this age has made new paths for our feet to tread in, because it has revealed God as Principle, Mind. This has made obedience to divine Mind a question of right thinking. This clear-sighted thinking, applied to whatever it is which seems to separate us from good, must bring us the answer to our problem, must bring us dominion, if we are honest enough to find out and reject that which in our own thought is poverty-stricken.