God Will Be with You
John Rawson of Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia
These are portentous times. The lives of many are being sacrificed unnecessarily to the gods of war, greed, and avarice. The land is being desecrated by the thoughtless waste of vital resources. You must obey my commandments and be in the forefront of those who would mediate this needless destruction while there is yet day. -Doctrine and Covenants 150:7
The eight months following my wife’s death were a time of “learning” for me-learning I would rather not have had to endure without Margaret. During this time, I felt deep doubt, insecurity, and an indescribable aloneness. I saw love in the eyes of my friends and my family. I felt it in the warmth of their hands and the hugs I received. But that loneliness had a life of its own.
Margaret and I shared everything. We had no secrets from each other. If we were preparing for ministry, we would always talk to each other about “what does this mean to you?” Then we would go away and prepare. Now I no longer had this certainty, this security, with me.
My low state of mind and physical illness stretched my emotions beyond anything I had known. Then in the wee hours of morning, a song awakened me, an old hymn by Fanny Crosby, “God Will Take Care of You.” One stanza tells us, “God will take care of you, be not afraid. He is your safeguard thro’ sunshine and shade: Tenderly watching and keeping his own, He will not leave you to wander alone.”
I sang the whole hymn, “word perfect,” even though I had not sung this hymn, heard it, or thought of it in over 50 years. I don’t believe this hymn just happened into my mind. I believe it was a blessing of God’s presence. It serves as a reminder that no matter what we endure, God is there before us. God’s Spirit is waiting for us with rich blessing.
The same moment I was experiencing this, I became aware the message of hope was also for another family of friends. They were on a journey no parent should have to endure. They watched as a much-loved daughter died of the ravages of cancer.
This message of hope is not for me or my friends only. It is for all who have need. God will be with you, be not afraid.
“Led by the Holy Spirit, we work with God and others to restore peace (shalom) to creation” (https://www.cofchrist.org/enduring-principles).
Embodying God’s Shalom
Find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace and wholeness. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom.
What images, feelings, and words come to you? What prayer for peace comes to you from your time of listening? Speak or write this prayer. What act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking does God invite you to consider this day?
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.