Finding Calm in the Storm
By Glenn Johnson of Covina, CA, USA
For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you. —Isaiah 54:10 NRSV
I look forward to Advent. It is never too early to celebrate Jesus’ birth. The stress and pressure of gift giving can distract from the spiritual experience possible when we invite the presence of the Holy Spirit at Christmastime. Indeed, the season can be difficult for those who lack wealth if we mistakenly focus on the commercial aspects of the holiday.
I remember sitting at the kitchen table of a farmer whose land bordered the Missouri River near Sidney, Iowa. It was a rainy day, and we talked on and on. The farmer’s graciousness impressed me. Near the end of the visit, he explained that most of his farm was under floodwaters, and he was grateful I made the visit.
His statement surprised me. I had no idea the river was flooding. I often am amazed at how this man remained so calm and so gracious during a time of literal storm and flood.
As we approach Advent, I pray that I may calmly seek God’s Spirit to enter my life as I recognize the true gift of Jesus Christ in my life.
Prayer for Peace
Compassionate God, the river may rise, and the floods overflow, but your steadfast love does not depart. Help us fulfill our part of the covenant of peace.
Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 161:2a. Reflect on how you can “see violence but proclaim peace…feel conflict, yet extend the hand of reconciliation…encounter broken spirits and find pathways for healing.” What does the peace of Christ mean to you? Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace. What act of justice or peacemaking does God invite you to pursue this day? Dwell on these words of pursuit: see, proclaim, feel, extend, encounter, find.
Today, God, I will plan projects to celebrate peace during Advent.