Living Water

Wednesday, November 5

11-5By Val Walker of Plainfield, Indiana, USA

Therefore, continue to be strong in faith. To you who hear my voice and know my promises I will reveal myself and give my peace, even in the midst of your uncertainties.

—Doctrine and Covenants 158:11a

I planned a worship service to celebrate Communion, the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, using the story of the woman at the well (John 4). Our worship center included a small fountain with water bubbling over rocks, creating a pleasant, falling-water sound as we shared in worship.

As part of my message, I wanted each one in the congregation to share in a symbol of the living water experience. I used a small medicine dropper to draw water from the fountain and offer a drop to each person. I practiced at home and found the capacity of the dropper was 24 drops. Normal attendance for us was about 40 people, so I planned to stop halfway and refill the dropper.

That morning I counted 38 people at church. As I talked about Jesus offering himself as living water, I walked through the congregation placing a drop of water from the fountain in the palm of each outstretched hand. I decided to go as far as I could with one dropper before refilling. I counted silently as I went. When I finished, I placed the last drop back in the fountain. There was enough and to spare—from one dropper of water.

I could not believe it, did not trust myself, and no one knew why I finished the message with tears in my eyes.

I went home to prove the “miracle” to my uncertain self, before I could share the testimony. Again I filled the dropper and counted—only 24 drops. I had not trusted God, had not trusted my math, and had not trusted my congregation to understand the experience. If I had not prepared and practiced before the service, I wouldn’t have realized the powerful message God had for us and especially me!

The following Sunday, I testified of the experience with the congregation, telling how God brought alive the living water offered by Christ. Be strong in faith, “even in the midst of your uncertainties.”

Prayer for Peace Faithful God, living among us, help us be aware of your presence. Help us drink in the experiences we might otherwise brush off. Help us immerse ourselves in sharing Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Vessel for Living Water Visualize or feel a vessel at the center of your being. Imagine drawing something from the vessel to share with someone, but as you reach inside you find only a tiny pool of stagnant liquid. You are thirsty, dry, empty. Then something clear and cool begins to pour over you. It splashes and tumbles into the vessel, filling it to the brim. The living water of Christ pours on and in you. Your vessel fills and runs over, blessing you with enough and to spare.

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will place my faith in the results without the test.

 

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Blessed In the Midst of Difficulty

Friday, March 28

3-28By Nancy Hylton of Seattle, Washington, USA

Jesus Christ, the embodiment of God’s shalom, invites all people to come and receive peace in the midst of the difficult questions and struggles of life. Follow Christ in the way that leads to God’s peace and discover the blessings of all the dimensions of salvation.

—Doctrine and Covenants 163:2a

I was enjoying two days of downhill skiing with my grown daughters. On the second day, my hands and feet began to get sore, so I stopped skiing early. By the following Saturday, I could not zip up my jeans or open a door. Two weeks later I was referred to a rheumatologist.

I am a pediatric physical therapist and orthotist. My hands are important in my profession. I had been unable to work. Thankfully, an appointment opened immediately, and I was diagnosed with sudden-onset severe rheumatoid arthritis.

I was scheduled to teach several workshops in Europe in the coming months and felt unsure how to handle those commitments. The doctor prescribed medication with an 80-percent chance of controlling, but not curing, my condition.

I prayed, “Lord, what should I do? What can I do?” Gently, within moments, the answer arrived. “I will take care of it.” That was all I was given to know. I could let go of fear and let God be with me. A profound sense of peace washed over me.

I had enough energy to teach the assigned workshops and many more. It took a year to bring the disease under control. I must take heavy medication to manage it.

Now I look at this experience from a nearly 15-year perspective. I have had strength well beyond my own resources. I could teach and share information in distant parts of the world. Most importantly I have been able to serve in my congregation and wider faith community as an ordained minister.

God did not take the difficulties away, but God has given me more than I needed. I thank God for blessings beyond measure! I praise God for divine grace and generosity.

Prayer for Peace
Revealing God, we hear your invitation to receive Christ, the embodiment of your shalom. We hear your call to be a blessing in our communities by 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 healing and wholeness for all creation? Do we hear the “voice” of God calling to us in the sounds of suffering and joy, in scripture and sacred word, in tears and laughter? How does the assurance of comfort come to you through the many “voices” of God?

Peace Covenant
Today, God, in the midst of struggle, I will let go and listen for your assurance.

Addy’s Words

Tuesday, February 25

By Gwen Simpson of Lamoni, Iowa, USA The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

Addy

Addy

—Psalm 146:8–9

My granddaughter, Addy, and I had gone to the mall to do some shopping for my mother and so Addy could play at the indoor playground. We were sitting at the food court, eating lunch and talking. Earlier that morning my father, brother, and I signed the papers to place my mother in a nursing home. Her failing health and mind made it impossible for my father to care for her at home any longer.

My mind was racing with those events. The lives of my father and mother, as well as my brother’s and mine, were changing dramatically. The sadness, uncertainty, and tears of that morning clung to me. Did Addy sense my vulnerability?

“Grandma Gwennie,” Addy said, drawing me back to the present, “When we go to the playground, you may have to hold my hand because I might be afraid.” The innocent words of a 3-year-old child struck me with the words my heart was crying out to God. Vocally, I assured her that we would hold hands, and I would be with her the whole time.

Silently, I heard God speaking words of assurance and love in the voice of a child. It would be OK for my family. God was holding our hands and would be with us no matter what the future held.

Prayer for Peace
Thank you, compassionate God, for the many times you hold our hands, even when we are unaware. Thank you for the assurance of your presence with us each day. Today, may we walk unafraid and at 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 listen closely to the voices of little ones.