God-size Job…We Need Not Apply

Wednesday, August 27

8-27By Deb Crowley, of Charlotte, Michigan

My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare they will give you. …Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge God, and he will make straight your paths.

—Proverbs 3:1–2, 5–6, NRSV adapted

God is God, and we are not. These words from a sermon resonate loudly for me. The job of administrator of close to a hundred congregations is daunting. On good days, there is excitement, camaraderie, and the Holy Spirit, giving insight, energy, and hope.

Other days, there is dealing with conflict, anger, heartbreak, and overwhelmingly heavy burdens. Do you ever have days like that?

A couple of months ago I had a hard day. Bickering members in a few congregations saddened me. Financial woes that go with every charitable organization depressed me. I cried to God in frustration because no easy answers could relieve the pain and suffering. “Why, God? What can I possibly do to make a difference? People are too stubborn. They’ll never get along, and it’s just too hard! I want to quit before the dark hole swallows me!”

At my lowest point, God spoke. Not in a verbal voice, but through a message in my mind that was clear and concise. “All you have to do is love them. I’ve got everything else under control!”

I could feel the weight fall from my shoulders as God reminded me that God is God, and I am not.

There is no way I can carry the weight alone. No way to solve the problems of the world. No way to stop the bickering over insignificant concerns that stem from fear or a sense of loss. It is a God-size job!

It is my job to administrate justly and ethically. It is my Christ-like joy to love unconditionally and pastor with tenderness and patience. It is also my job to trust God as directed in Proverbs. God is God, and we are not. Bring on the challenges! With God anything is possible, and there are plenty of good days for those who faithfully rely on the Lord!

Prayer for Peace God of wisdom, help us lay our burdens at your feet. Help us trust your love when life challenges us. We rely on you to help us share Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Praying for Leadership of the Church An important spiritual practice for disciples is praying for members of the body of Christ, particularly those who carry leadership responsibilities. Ask God to guide your awareness of persons who lead the community of faith in congregations, mission centers, and the World Church. Pray for God’s outpouring of grace on each servant leader who comes to mind.

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will be aware of your comforting presence when I face a challenge.

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Next Step—Now. Destination—Later.

Tuesday, April 1

4-1By Beryl Swain of Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia

Sustain each other in peace, and ye shall be blessed with my Spirit, in comforting and strengthening you for my work.

—Doctrine and Covenants 117:13

While on holiday, I decided to take a walk alone. I delighted in the beautiful scenery, but the return trip was up a steep hill. I didn’t remember the hill being so steep on my outward journey. By now the walk nearly had depleted my energy.

I looked at the summit and groaned. “Oh, help. I’ll never make it. It’s so far to the top.” My view of the far-off destination overwhelmed me. Then it occurred to me to let go of the “far-off” destination, so I could manage the journey. I gave my eyes a rest from that seemingly impossible peak and looked only at the ground immediately before me. It worked! By taking one step at a time and looking only at what was right in front of me, I reached the top in comparative ease.

I think of that experience sometimes, when the problems of life seem insurmountable. By taking only one step at a time—living only one day at a time—and leaving the outcome to God, the journey no longer overwhelms me. Then, when I gather strength, I can look to the destination with hope for a journey completed.

Prayer for Peace
Encourage us, God, to let go of views that make life difficult. We lay our journey at your feet. We trust in you to challenge us with what we can—with faith—accomplish each day, each step of the way. Help us share Christ’s peace on our journey, one step at a time.

Spiritual Practice: Making Responsible Choices
Prayerfully seek God’s guidance in your choices. Discernment invites us to orient our lives toward God and God’s vision for us and creation. Begin by reviewing the responsibilities and opportunities in the day before you. Take these choices into prayer. Ask 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
Peace is a manageable destination. Let it begin with the next step I take.