My Day Off

Tuesday, January 7

Photo by Eileen Turner

Photo by Eileen Turner

By Flo McDonald of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, USA

…but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

—Isaiah 40:31

I didn’t go to church on the last Sunday of the year. I took the day off. I had several reasons and felt justified by them. I needed some quiet time. Many thoughts intruded on my troubled mind, and I needed to find answers to bring me peace.

I didn’t solve all my problems that day, but I at least organized them for further work. In the first week of the new year several of my concerns clarified. At the first church service in the new year, I listened to the words of the closing hymn, “Standing at the Portal,” written by Frances Ridley Havergal.

As the congregation sang the hymn, the Spirit rested on me, blessed, and comforted me. I listened closely as the words of the second verse touched me:

I, the Lord am with thee; be thou not afraid! I will help and strengthen; be thou not dismayed! Yea, I will uphold thee with my own right hand; thou art called and chosen in my sight to stand.

Those words sounded familiar. I learned these assurances are found in Isaiah 40:28–31, II Nephi 9:133, and Doctrine and Covenants 86:3c, d.

All my life I have heard about the cause of Zion and its meaning. I am impatient for that to become a reality. We have all the tools we need. It is time to consecrate our lives again and work to fulfill the vision of Zion, God’s peaceable reign on Earth. God assures us we will have strength for the work.

Prayer for Peace
Steadfast God, we know you hear our laments as well as our praise. We feel you near. We feel your strength and love when we need it most. Uphold us, God that we might commit to sharing Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Voices of God
What is the voice of God saying to us? Do we hear the whispers of God’s longing for shalom; God’s dream of beauty and wholeness for all creation? Do we hear the “voice” of God calling to us in faces and eyes, in the sounds of suffering and joy, in scripture and sacred word, in tears and laughter, in silence and noise?

Spend a few moments reflecting on when and how God’s voice has spoken to you. When did you first feel called to join God in the pursuit of peace and justice? How does that call to shalom continue to come to you through the many “voices” of God?

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will work to help establish your peaceable reign.

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