Recently, I read about families who, many centuries ago, fled the country for their safety. What interested me most was how these people had just begun to feel that God was with them. Yet, though they barely knew God, He helped them through every step of their journey. He gave them wisdom to know the right path to take.
Through their prayer and sincere desires to follow divine direction, He provided what they needed to sustain them on their journey. When they were thirsty, He provided water; when they were hungry, food appeared. Every step of the way they needed to go, even if it meant going through enemy territory, God opened the way for them to pass safely (see the book of Exodus in the Bible).
The love of God is universal and all-powerful. There is not a child, woman, or man excluded from the love of God. In fact, God is so identified with the powerful presence of love, that the Bible tells us God is love (see I John 4:16).
Just as the divine Love, God, was a refuge to those families searching for safety, sustenance, and home in their journey from their captivity in Egypt, so He is a refuge today, for you and me. Whenever you need safety, comfort, and a sense of home, God is right there providing good for you, too.
I have seen proof of this in my own life. One experience occurred when I was a freshman in high school. One day, I accepted a ride home after school from a friend, who dropped me off at what was supposed to be a place near my home. As she drove away, and I looked around at where I was, I saw I was nowhere near my home territory. What she thought was my neighborhood was actually someplace else altogether, and I was lost. To make things worse, this wasn't the safest of areas. All at once my knees became weak with fear.
I turned to God in prayer immediately, relying on Him to show me the way to get back to familiar territory. I knew God would lead me to safety because He defends His children and will not let them be lost. I knew that when they seek it, God protects and guides all people, including me, because we are the objects of His love. The founder of the Monitor described this conviction of divine Love's care this way: "Step by step will those who trust Him find that 'God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble' " (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 444).
Not knowing which direction to walk, I stopped and listened for God to guide me. Then I chose a direction that seemed to be best. As I walked, I continued to pray. I thought of the words to some hymns I knew, which praise God and thank Him for being our great Shepherd. They declare that His goodness never fails; that He brings us gently home; that He is beside us; that He upholds us.
After walking for what seemed like a long time - thinking so much about praying that I forgot all about the fear - I suddenly noticed the steeple of a church in the distance. I knew it was located in the middle of my hometown. That gave me a point to aim for. It was the beginning of familiar territory.
I wasn't a 14-year-old who usually noticed streets or road signs much, and so I wasn't sure which way to turn when I reached the church. Again, I turned to the Father-Mother of us all, whose love guides. And I found, as I continued walking (for miles), that I would get an idea to "turn here" or "take this street." The direction began to feel more familiar, until I reached streets I knew would lead me to my house. I was so grateful to God that day, not only for finding home again but also for safety in getting there.
There is a hymn that says God "will walk with me." This is true for all of us - for everyone who has ever needed to journey to safety. When we rely on God, the divine Love, He does walk with us - in any situation. He protects our steps and shows us the way.
Into His haven of Soul
there enters no element
of earth to cast out angels,
to silence the right intuition
which guides you
MARY BAKER EDDY