Just any place won't do when it comes to home. Home is more than just a place of residence; it's also "an environment offering security and happiness," "a refuge."
But with housing shortages and skyrocketing rents facing potential buyers and renters, finding the "perfect" home or perhaps just a place that fits into the budget may seem daunting or even a matter of luck. Do we need to approach the housing market with dread or anticipate long months of fruitless searching?
My first move to a new city had me asking myself a number of these questions. I was worried about the usual hidden fees, real estate agents I wasn't sure I could trust, houses and apartments with undisclosed problems.
Then, to top it all off, just weeks before I was scheduled to move, the woman who was going to be my roommate dropped the bomb that she was getting married. Suddenly, I was more on my own than ever fresh out of college, roommateless, and pretty clueless as to the steps I should take to go about finding a place to live.
But there was one step I knew I had to take before I did anything else, and that was to pray. I'd trusted God in countless other situations, and He had never once let me down. I knew that even if I had no idea where or how to begin my apartment search, God, who is infinite Mind, was right there with me, guiding my every step.
Thinking about God and who I was in relation to Him became my starting point for solving this problem, and in my study and prayer, I happened upon a statement in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy that became particularly meaningful to me. She writes in answer to the question "What is man?" that man (meaning man and woman) is "the compound idea of God, including all right ideas" (pg. 475).
To me, this meant that "home" wasn't a particular location or set of characteristics existent somewhere "out there"; it wasn't some place I needed to search for desperately or struggle in order to find. Rather, because I have been given the infinite goodness and completeness of God, I also have all the qualities that constitute "home," and because of that, "home" was already complete. My job was to trust God, Mind, to reveal it to me in all its beauty, comfort, and affordability.
I was also reassured by this passage from the Bible, which articulates God's promise to Moses: "Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared" (Ex. 23:20). I knew that this promise applied to me, too, and that God's enlightening, freeing thoughts are available to me at every moment and would lead me to the right spot.
As my expectations of good possibilities expanded, I found I needed to let go of a desire to define specifically what sort of home I needed. That's not to say that I didn't stick to my budget or keep certain priorities in mind, but my desire to see what God had already prepared for me allowed me to be open to new possibilities like living alone that before I wouldn't have considered.
The result was that within days, many unexpected options opened up. And in just a matter of weeks (and with the help of a real estate-savvy friend), I'd found a lovely apartment that met my needs perfectly. In all respects, this home was truly God's gift to me.
God has already prepared a place for each of us where we can feel all the blessings of home, and that place is right with Him, inseparable from His loving, protecting presence. This is God's eternal promise, and we can expect to see this promise fulfilled in practical ways, ways that meet our needs perhaps better than we could have even imagined.
My people shall dwell in
a peaceable habitation, and
in sure dwellings, and in
quiet resting places.