POLITICAL upheavals, earthquakes, freak weather conditions, and lack of means can deprive people of places to live. Yet perhaps the greatest stabilizing factor for anyone is a home. More often than not, people must rely on their own resources or initiative to find or replace a dwelling. This can be a difficult--and sometimes fruitless--exercise that leads to despondency or frustration. I've certainly seen this happen here in Namibia.
But the situation is not hopeless. As John's Gospel records, Christ Jesus promised: ``In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." So often we turn in every direction except the right one to meet a need. I've found, however, that relying on my own understanding or expertise is never as effective as turning to God for guidance and fulfillment.
For example, at one time my occupation caused my family and me to move from one place to another every three years or so. We were always provided with a dwelling. However, this condition of service did not apply to assignments located in a city. Of course the time came when I was transferred to a city.
The first few days I contacted numerous housing agents and inspected a host of houses. After three or four days of exhaustive searching, it was apparent that none of the houses fitted my requirements! As I thought about how none of the houses fitted my requirements, I began to see that I was being entirely self-centered about finding a suitable home. Immediately it was apparent that I was being willful about the external requirements for our housing. What I needed for my family was not merely a house but
a home. And what was really required to achieve this was a spiritual concept of home.
I thought of part of the ninety-first Psalm: ``He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust." I had been wanting my will to be done and leaving God's will on the shelf! I had been relying on my own actions and understanding of the situation, and that's what I had to stop doing.
My wife and I began to pray to grasp the spiritual concept of home, which is so much more than a house. I felt ashamed of my earlier rudderless action of house hunting with the wrong motives. I recalled, somewhat ruefully, a passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. She writes: ``So we have goodness and beauty to gladden the heart; but man, left to the hypotheses of material sense unexplained by Science, is as the wande ring comet or the desolate star--`a weary searcher for a viewless home.'"
I had certainly been like that ``weary searcher!" But at last I was on the right course. Our prayer centered on the wonderfully inspiring messages from the twenty-third Psalm, which shows so clearly that everything needful is already at hand. We loved the promise that we ``will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."
What really impressed us was how quickly the answer to our prayers came once we turned to divine Mind to direct us in our quest. We had searched fruitlessly for three days. On the fourth day, when we turned to God in sincere and deep prayer as briefly outlined above, that same day I received a phone call from an unexpected quarter. By nightfall we had a most desirable home in a beautiful area. And this transaction not only blessed us but blessed others as well.
We weren't surprised that the number of the house was 23!