A recent Angus Reid poll says worry over tuition and living expenses dogs almost half of Canadian post-secondary students as they head back to school. Student debt causes some to lose hope for a comfortable life after graduation, thinking well-paying jobs may be scarce.
While practical ideas and money management tips abound for grads and undergrads, the emotional burden of debt on students is prompting some institutions to beef up their mental health services.
Student concerns over financial insecurity imply an underlying fear that one’s good depends on uncertain material factors. But often a good idea or a new way of looking at things can make all the difference.
Turning to the Bible – a time-tested source of ideas and insight – I find inspiration on how this new view of things can resolve problems!
One encouraging example is in Second Kings where a widow, at her financial wits’ end, approaches the prophet Elisha for help. (II Kings:4) He asks what she has in the house. A small amount of oil, she responds. He directs her to borrow empty pots from her neighbours and fill them up. Sounds like an impossible proposal, but she is obedient; and from her bit of oil she is able to fill all the empty vessels. Elisha then tells her to sell the oil and pay off her debt and her family to live off the rest of the proceeds. I see in this story that the widow’s view was one of lack, but Elisha had a different view – one of the goodness of God and His ideas that can replenish, restore and supply whatever is needed.
This example was an inspiration to Alan, who was faced with the fear of not being able to afford college when his father passed away.
After discussing the above Bible story in his Christian Science Sunday School class, Alan was inspired to approach each high school class assignment, athletic event and social relationship as a kind of “vessel” to fill with his faith that God’s goodness was present in his life and guiding his every activity. When it came time to choose a college, funds from a long ago investment came to light. They were now worth a great deal, and combined with the financial assistance from the school, met the cost of his education.
Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, offers a useful insight into explaining God’s abundant promise to sustain His creation. She writes in her Miscellaneous Writings:
“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.” (307:2)
This concept is mirrored in this Bible verse:””Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters.” (Isa. 55:1) Divine Love does not hold back good from His creation! These “waters” are the outpouring of ideas that God continually imparts to His beloved child.
No one needs to feel hopeless or discouraged over financial challenges. Fresh and innovative ideas are waiting to come to light as we humbly and prayerfully listen, not for an influx of material wealth, but for a greater recognition of how near to us God, good, really is. And these ideas will lead to satisfying, practical solutions.
This article can be read in Ontario Metroland Media news sites. Read here in York Region news.