Listen and Trust

Wednesday, July 24

7-24By Suzanne McMillan of East Sandwich, Massachusetts, USA

…Test my words. Trust in my promises for they have been given for your assurance and will bear you up in times of doubt…

—Doctrine and Covenants 155:7

My parents claim I learned to swim before I learned to walk. Many people who grow up near water learn to swim at an early age, so part of me thought everyone learned to swim before they grow up.

When my sister-in-law came from the Southwest United States for a visit, I knew she had never seen the ocean. But it took me a while to realize she had never learned to swim. After pacing up and down the beach, she finally accepted my invitation to take her swimming.

On a beach with a rocky slope, choppy surf, and slight undertow, conditions were less than ideal. I explained in detail what she probably would experience and what she should do. I would let go of her completely, and she would hold onto my back while I swam to a shallow, flat, submerged sandbar. There, she would be able to stand, jump, and start to feel her body float.

Parenting and working in the medical field, I’ve experienced my share of asking people to trust. But those 30 minutes with Mindy held some of the most remarkable moments of trust I ever have experienced. Until she was finally able to grit her teeth and venture out, holding my hand, trust didn’t mean a lot to her.

She slowly gained confidence, the white knuckles of two hands giving way to only one hand hanging on. She went from trusting in her ability to float to having my hand move a few inches from hers as she paddled. Her new courage held as much joy and wonder for me as for her.

The Creator has gifted us with a vast world and new experiences that hold wonder. God is there, keeping us in safe arms if we but listen and trust.

Prayer for Peace:
Creator, how wonderful is your diverse world. Thank you for the joy we feel when we overcome our fears. We reach out to embrace the world with two hands. You are always there waiting for us, and for that we feel humbled and encouraged to share the peace of Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Practice: Flowing Water
If possible, sit where you can hear the sound of water—a fountain, stream, the sea, (perhaps a CD of water sounds). Listen to the sound as you thank God for the life-giving, life-shaping power of water. Pray for God’s blessing on all the parched places of the Earth where there is injustice, oppression, violence, and disregard for life. Now, get up and drink a glass of clear, cold water as you pray, “God, let your justice flow through me as a disciple of Christ Jesus.”

Peace Covenant:
When I begin to feel doubt, God, I will put my trust in you to bear me up.

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