A Comforting Sign

Thursday, March 20

3-20By E.J. Chappelle of Rosharon, Texas, USA

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for God will speak peace to the people, to the faithful, to those who turn to God in their hearts. …*Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.

—Psalm 85:8, 11 adapted

I smelled smoke—a bad smell in a wood-working factory. Several of us sniffed around until we found the source. Outside a dense cloud of smoke was blowing from the north—a disturbing sight. I had thought the miles of plowed fields surrounding us would protect us from the recent wildfires. Not necessarily. The fires were closing in. I felt fear.

I had to do something, so I pulled a cart of fire hoses to the hydrant, just in case. I went back inside to get away from the choking smoke. The factory’s foam cannon would be useful for any fire within the building. But it lay on the floor, half-disassembled, awaiting new parts. Anxious, I felt compelled to put the instrument back together—fast—bad parts and all!

Only a miracle would make the motor work again, but I couldn’t just wait and do nothing. Reassembled, with only guessed-at settings, the motor started on the first pull of the cord. I had turned to God in my heart and had received the miracle I had prayed for. All my anxiety, fear and panic vanished with the noise of the rusty engine. I could relax, knowing we had foam ready to fight the fire. Another miracle—the fire never came too close.

Jesus warned his followers of his coming departure, but they didn’t understand. Still, Jesus continued teaching them and promised to comfort them in their coming times of need. As promised, on that confusing day of smoke, the Lord sent me a comforting sign so I could endure events I did not understand.

Prayer for Peace
God, we turn our hearts to you. We have faith that you will guide us in our mission. Help us to share in Christ’s mission of peace.

Spiritual Practice: Making Responsible Choices
Prayerfully seek God’s guidance in your choices. Discernment invites us to orient our lives toward God, God’s vision for us, and creation. Begin by reviewing the responsibilities and opportunities in the day before you. Take these choices into prayer, asking God for wisdom and insight about what matters most.

Offer yourself to God with the prayer of Teresa of Avila: “God, what do you want of me today?” Sit prayerfully with this question as you review the day again. Be aware of images, thoughts, names, or actions that come to you. Ask for a blessing to live this day responsibly and compassionately in the Spirit of Christ.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will exercise my faith when I don’t understand.

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