Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Family Support System

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Family Support System

Article excerpt

The Jim Lehrer News Hour recently reported how individual families are dealing with the current economic challenges. One single parent, Rosita Velez, is about to lose her severance package from her former employer and is looking for new ways to provide for her daughter. Marta Calderon is in a similar boat as she was recently laid off and is now pressed to find needed healthcare funds for herself and her grandson ("Number of newly uninsured Americans rises along with jobless rate," Feb. 11).

Throughout the nation, families of all blends are grappling to some degree with these thoughts of uncertainty. It raises the question of what it means to be a family and how to care for one another in times of need.

Even the bleakest predictions and direst circumstances cannot keep us or our families from turning to God, the true care-giving Parent. Christ Jesus assured his followers through all time, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32). What tenderness Jesus conveyed in that message.

Though you might feel you're part of just another family among so many with uncontrollable financial problems, you, too, can "fear not" and turn to God. Maybe the US government was on to something when it ensured that the words "In God we trust" would be printed on its money. Those words imply that beyond bills and coins, it is in God's love and steady care that we can trust. An inflated sense of self-reliance fades as we rely confidently on God.

Trusting God and knowing that He wants the best for us is not mere positive thinking. It rests on the spiritual fact of God's love, manifest through a neighbor sharing some food, a friend volunteering to take care of one's children, a co-worker giving someone a ride to work, a spouse helping out with extra chores, a friend sharing some outgrown clothes, and many more unexpected blessings.

Since the traditional nuclear family has become less common over recent decades, many people have found a broader sense of family, including other relatives, friends, and neighbors. …

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