Watching and Waiting

3-5By Cara Clifford of Vienna, West Virginia, USA

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?

—Isaiah 58:6

One spring I bought two dogwood trees for our yard. The years since have been dry and hot. I watered and fertilized the trees each year, thinking ahead to what their full potential would bring.

Last year the trees had some new growth, but there were signs that parts of the trees had not responded with new life. An unfriendly condition suppressed the trees in some way.

This spring I waited. Each day I looked out my window to catch the first signs of life and promise. To my joy, traces of green emerged.

How God must watch every part of his creation. It is given to us to break the yoke which oppresses. We are free to grow and fulfill our potential to burst forth into our world. I sometimes wonder if God goes to some divine window and watches us, waiting for us to become that which God created us to be.

Prayer for Peace
For the gift of life we thank you, God. May we always respond to that gift with positive growth. Let your guiding Spirit help us in our formation as disciples, developing to our full potential. From your window, may you see new growth in us daily. May you watch us as we share the peace of Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Practice: Develop Disciples to Serve
Read and reflect on Psalm 42:1–2. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to respond to people and their needs. The call to journey inward can restore us in times of physical or spiritual depletion.

Imagine you can feel a vessel at the center of your being (a clay jar, a crystal vase, a metal bucket, or other container). Imagine drawing something from the vessel to share with another person, but as you reach inside you find only a tiny pool of stagnant liquid. You are thirsty and dry; empty. Listen prayerfully again to the psalm, “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”

As you feel restored, thank God for the opportunity to be a responding, serving disciple while you move into the outward journey. Remember this exercise as you drink water throughout the day.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will cast off what keeps me from being your disciple.

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