The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. Jeremiah 33:14–15
Children long remember promises made to them. Our granddaughters remember promises. They eagerly await chocolate-chip pancakes for breakfast during sleepovers and feeding the birds in the backyard. They remember and believe in us to fulfill our promises because they know we love them, and they trust us.
When I was 5 years old, my parents promised to take me to Disneyland. Because I knew they loved me, I trusted them to take me there. I promptly found brown, paper grocery sacks and packed my toys. I placed the sacks on our back porch. These were important to take with me on the trip. Then I waited. When my parents found me with my toy-laden sacks, they asked what I was doing. I told them I packed and was ready to go to Disneyland.
Fifteen years later they took me, my sister, and two brothers to Disney World. I left my toys behind. They kept their promise, but the timing was theirs, not mine.
Our loving God has made promises to each of us, as well, because we are beloved children of God. The promises are fulfilled according to God’s timing, not ours. Because we love God, we trust in the right way and at the right time the promises will be kept. God promises to love us always, to be with us constantly, and to hear our every prayer.
But often God’s promises are fulfilled in ways least expected. We need to be open to all the surprising ways God enters our lives and calls us to be disciples of the One whose birth we anticipate this Advent season.
Prayer for Peace:
Loving God, we are thankful for your faithfulness. We thank you for your comforting words, which help us look to the future with joy. May we be at peace, trusting in your promises, trusting in your time.
Spiritual Practice for the Week: Welcoming Unity in Diversity
Meditate on unity in diversity. Prayerfully read Doctrine and Covenants 163:8c, which calls “the entire church to become a sanctuary of Christ’s peace, where people from all nations, ethnicities, and life circumstances can be gathered into a spiritual home without dividing walls.”
Create a large circle with your arms. See and feel the diverse people God invites inside the sanctuary represented by this circle. Who is easiest to welcome? Whom do you struggle to include? Confess the dividing walls between you and people too different or “dangerous” to invite into your spiritual home. Ask God to forgive and heal barriers that keep you and others from being one in Christ’s peace.
I will wait faithfully, God, for the fulfillment of your promise will surely be.