Infinitely Wise and Compassionate
Joann Condit of Phoenix, AZ, USA
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. -Isaiah 58:8-9
In 2009, Clay and I made an extended trip through northern Mexico. We have visited this country several times, but never the state of Chihuahua and its Copper Canyon. We were ignorant of its rich history. The first few days were centered in Nuevo Casas Grandes and the historical areas around it such as the ancient ruins of Paquime, the famous pottery village called Mata Ortiz, and the small community of Colonia Juarez.
We had never heard of Colonia, and, to our astonishment, learned it was established between 1885 and 1887 by a large contingent of Mormon settlers who fled Utah when polygamy was outlawed. They pooled their money and bought, sight unseen, a large section of land. They were delighted with its quality and industriously cleared the land and planted crops that flourish in the desert. They were ready to harvest when the representative of a wealthy man, Don Luis Terazzas, arrived and told them they did not own the land at all; he did.
They were dislodged and forced to move into the hills where the soil was rocky and would not support farm crops. There was a small river, and the discouraged but hardworking colonists once more began to build their community. They planted apple and pear trees that thrived in the higher hills above the desert. So also did the colonists thrive.
The settlement remained peaceful and prosperous until about 1898. That year brought drought conditions so severe the river went dry. The orchards were considerably stressed. They seriously considered giving up and leaving, but first assembled for an all-day meeting to pray for rain. Their fervent petitions continued on into the evening, and finally ended without a hint of clouds in the sky. They returned to their homes, discouraged to tears. At 3:30 in the morning, an earthquake shook the mountains, and it opened a spring that ran into the river. It runs to this day, and the settlement never again has been without plentiful water.
The earthquake in the mountains did not damage the colony. The river has flowed for well over 100 years. The people who believed, who had launched out into a strange new land, suffered through severe disappointments and persevered through intense physical labor and uncertainty…they were God’s children among the myriad children who call upon God in faith.
We are blessed richly by the testimonies of God’s infinitely wise and compassionate touch in our lives. Whether we recognize the touch, the blessing, or the even the love, God is present. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
I surrender into your love, O God.
What might it look like to surrender a little to God each day? A simple prayer of surrender can help us become aware of God’s consistent invitations to deeper relationship and awareness. Imagine when you encounter a challenging person or situation silently uttering this prayer, “I surrender into your love, O God.” The same prayer can be meaningful in moments of joy and gratitude as a way of returning to the awareness of oneness with God. It’s ok if we don’t surrender everything all at once all the time. The prayer of surrender is a constant practice of returning little by little to the deepest love that is the ground of our being and desires wholeness and oneness for us and all creation.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.