Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Water: A Prayer of Enough for All

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Water: A Prayer of Enough for All

Article excerpt

On a recent visit to the NASA Space Center in Houston, I learned about the research and scientific study related to the projected human colonization of Mars in 2035. One of the factors for survival is how to extract enough water from the planet. With a round-trip travel time of one year, finding the answer is key to the success of the mission.

Of course, this is an issue we grapple with right here on Earth. In Africa alone, women spend 40 billion hours a year walking for water; despite welcome El Nino rains this winter, California is still under strict water restrictions after four years of drought; and nearly 800 million people in the world lack dependable access to clean water.

To bring awareness to water-related issues and help educate and inspire people to make a difference, March 22 marks the 23rd anniversary of observing World Water Day.

For those seeking spiritual guidance on this issue, the Bible offers many accounts of people safely relying on God to supply their most basic human needs. For instance, there's the compelling story of the widow in a drought-ridden land who has come to the end of her resources (see I Kings 17:7-16). As she prepares to have her last meal with her son, a foreigner, Elijah, approaches her and asks her to bring him water and food first. You might expect her to decline, yet she doesn't.

By complying with his request, the woman rejects a limited concept of supply, which would have her fearfully fend for her household first, and her generosity is rewarded. Elijah reassures her that her flour and oil will not be depleted until rain again returns to the land, and his prophecy, which he hears by prayerfully listening to God, proves true.

The woman's generosity and obedience provides her with much more than food and water. Elijah proves to her that supply is not governed by material conditions but by a divine, infinite source of good. "Giving does not impoverish us in the service of our Maker, neither does withholding enrich us," writes Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 79).

The example of Elijah and the widow might seem radical on the surface, and yet isn't there a spiritual lesson here for each one of us? …

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