Light is one of those things we experience more than see or touch. We experience the effect of light all around when objects are illuminated or temperatures are influenced. Metaphysically, spiritual substance is the effect or reflection of divine Light, God. It is manifest in all that is good and permanent, but is never limited in matter.
In the Bible, Paul links hope with substance when he speaks of faith. He said, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1) Paul enlarges the sense of substance from something material to an understanding and expectation of something better, something unlimited and sourced in Spirit, God. To Paul, faith, hope and substance are tangible and spiritual. They manifest the Christ, the God-power and God-presence flowing from spiritual understanding. Substance, like faith and hope, is revealed by Christ through a spiritual sense that recognizes spiritual good.
Substance is a divine attribute flowing from one Source, God. True substance, like light, is reflected by and expressed in and around us. When we think of our daily resources, it is a good idea to detach ourselves from considering only limited material forms - like money, clothes, job - as substantial, and to broaden our thinking to consider spiritual substance.
In reality, no one needs more spiritual substance than he already has. But if it seems like human resources are running low - be it energy, inspiration, hope, faith or the ability to meet ones financial obligations - there is a law of God relative to the unlimited reflection of divine Good, that can unlock the stores.
Substance isn't found in more material things. The substance of Mind is expressed in the spiritual ideas that, in turn, meet the human need.
The Psalmist says, "How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light." (Psalms 36:7-9)
When I was 18 I moved in London to pursue training as a Christian Science nurse. The job was very low-paying. I was drawing down my small savings to meet expenses. After a few months it seemed practical to return to the US to pursue other opportunities for training.
During the last two weeks before I left England, a friend and I travelled around the country together. She was a more experienced student of Christian Science. Realizing that I had very little money to travel with, she encouraged me to pray and study the Bible each morning during the trip to get a better understanding of God and spiritual substance.
I had forgotten, though, that there would be a collection taken during the service and I hadn't prepared in advance what I would place. Since I was in the front row, the collection basket came to me first. I didn't have a lot of time to dig around in my purse. I knew I had four bills left in there - a fifty, a twenty, a ten and a five. I reached in and pulled out the first bill I touched, putting the fifty in the basket. And as I watched it go, I prayed: "Dear God, as your reflection, I give back in your service all that you give me." It was a very spontaneous prayer.
Actually, that is exactly what a reflection does. From the Latin root reflectare, reflection is literally "bending back", or giving back to the original or source.
I still had 35 pounds (the equivalent of about $50 USD at the time) in my purse to live on for one week on the road. But I had never felt so free of fear about my finances. When I saw myself as divine reflection in that moment of prayer, I saw what my eyes couldn't yet see - my permanent, unbreakable link to unfolding good. I felt richer than I ever had before.
When we arrived back in London on the day of my flight, I had five pounds left to cover exactly the expense of the taxi to the airport.
At the last moment at the airport I realized that my bags were even more overweight than they had been when I arrived in England. On the first voyage I had to pay 100 dollars for the extra cargo.
I thought of my prayer in that church and realized I would always be OK as long as I remembered that I reflect the infinite Mind and was willing to give my all in service to God, Good. So I decided that, if I had to, I was willing to leave my personal possessions behind in England.
I told the agent my bags were overweight.But the agent gave me a wink and said, "Overweight? What is overweight?" And he threw everything on the conveyer belt to go to the plane.
In the many years since, I have had a few brief moments of being low on money. But remembering this early proof of what it means to reflect all good from God, never failed to arrest the fear. In each case, giving back in service to God was the saving grace that brought forward the necessary supply.
We don't have to accept limitation in any form. A lack of substance, a block on the flow of divine supply, is simply a lie about God who is our true source, reflecting in us and for us the true substance and resources we need.