A business I owned and ran since 2001 started having financial troubles in 2008. While I have been a Christian Scientist my whole life, and class taught, the way I approached Christian Science was fairly typical of a marginally involved member – like other so-called “tea bag” members who only need CS when they get in hot water. But the opportunity, and I do mean opportunity to really figure out what Christian Science meant to me as a different way of thinking rather than a first aid kit came about in connection with several healings, but most centrally this business challenge.
The first part of the healing came when two things occurred together - I began as First Reader at my branch church, and a practitioner friend I contacted for help about the business described the situation of supply like “water over Niagara'” far beyond what we could even accept. That day— and it really was only one or two days of help I received – broke the mesmerism about the business, and from that day forward the business never lost money again (February 2012).
Still, there were challenges, the business operated fairly hand-to-mouth, and almost every payday was a challenge to get enough money deposited to cover checks to employees. And parallel to that, I cannot say that I was particularly clear on the fact of the passage, "...no good is, but the good God bestows" (SH 275:19). But the passage did begin to resonate more. I stopped putting money into aggressive sales and marketing, and I was less impressed with what intelligent people could do for the business.
In October 2015, I came to work needing tens of thousands of dollars to make payroll, a tax payment, and a past due utility bill "or else". I had $728 in the bank. Some money was owed to the business, but for various reasons, couldn't be relied upon that day to come in or be collected. I didn't have enough in the sales pipeline that I could call someone and get a go-ahead and deposit fast enough. I stopped all activity that I was accustomed to doing - picking up the phone and making collection calls, inquiries, sales efforts, etc. I just stopped and prayed. By that I mean I turned off my computer screen and phone, and thought calmly about a favorite passage, but most importantly, following that with quiet listening for God's thoughts - the very definition in Science and Health, by Mrs. Eddy, of “angels”. (SH 581:4)
It was then that an idea came to thought. I had a customer who had told me they needed help with upgrading their accounting system. My business had never done that kind of work and while there was some supporting work that we could do, it would be largely another vendor who would do this. But I remembered that I had received a name of someone who does accounting systems and had called upon them a month prior. So I made a call. And in fifteen minutes I had the information I needed to make a proposal to our customer. Twenty minutes after that I had a proposal written for the joint services that would solve the customer's need and I called them. The customer was SO glad to hear from me. He said that just that morning he realized that they couldn't do payroll next month without this upgrade. I emailed him the proposal and he put me on hold. When he came back he said he had approval and rattled off a PO number. He offered to have a check for me by noon (it was around 10:30 a.m. at this point) - the check was almost the exact amount I needed that day. I took it straight to the bank. When I walked in I saw my banker and asked her if she might be willing to deposit the check as cash (clear the funds immediately), which is not normally allowed. She agreed without hesitation (another demonstration). I went home, paid all of the pending bills on time, and thanked God profusely.
Understanding that "...no good is, but the good God bestows" encompasses every aspect of that word. It means for you, for me, and the whole universe, that you cannot observe, think, create or do anything good independent of God. "God is good" is almost like an incomplete statement. We can use sentence structure and the scientific method to come at this from every angle: Only God is good; everything that is good is of God; when we see good we are seeing God; it is not possible to have good apart from God; and on and on until we understand that it is a complete and unqualified fact that everything we know of good is knowing God.
From August 2015 through January 2016 I had been actively trying to sell the business, and "move on". In December I had signed an agreement, even, to sell the business. But when the sale of the business fell through, not two weeks after signing the sale agreement, I was honestly not distressed. I knew, from the October experience, that this was just the beginning, not an end to being well cared for.
As 2016 unfolded, I now was spending zero hours on the phone making sales calls as I had been in times past. But uniquely, my phone rang more than when I was making outbound calls. Literally every single week of the year I was getting an answer to prayer for this business in terms of a new job we could do, a debt we could resolve, a problem that we had been wrestling with. Customers I hadn't heard from in 5-10 years would call and ask for work, and these jobs came to fruition. New customers would appear from nowhere. Tax problems were solved. Bills were paid. The threat of bankruptcy completely vanished. At the close of the year, business was more profitable than it had been in the previous seven years combined. The staff consisted now of only three part-time contractors with mid-level skills.
Now not only am I consistent with turning to the good God bestows for running my business, I recently started receiving practice calls for help for others on the subject of job/financial security.