Prayers from the Island God’s Constancy

God’s Constancy

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  When I stood on the deck this morning, I heard a pinecone fall from the tree and thud against the deck floor.  I was startled at first, but them pleased too.  As I go about my daily affairs, you dear Father, continue to operate the world around me, timing the release of seeds in due season, governing the migration of birds, and carefully arranging the tides according to your plan.  I am relieved to know that all creation is in your hands, no matter how careless and random world events may seem to be.  I can peacefully submit to your will, knowing that you are God of the universe.  You will guide my actions and my responses—whether to the fall of a pinecone or the sacrifice of your beloved Son on the cross.  You are still my creator and my redeemer, manifested in all the world that surrounds me. Amen.

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Fire Alert!Fire Alert!

We desperately need rain on the island. Each day the fire danger increases, and at night I smell wisps of smoke from fires burning on the mainland. Neighbors have bushwhacked their property, hoping to eliminate dry brush before a fire approaches. Warning signs are posted everywhere and the evening news carries reports on fire status. And yet, this morning as I drove to the grocery store, I saw a driver ahead of me toss a lighted cigarette from his car, oblivious of the danger. My first inclination was incredulous anger, but then I wondered about my own behavior. Do I carelessly toss burning embers when I gossip and criticize, when I fail to uplift and support others in their search for faith? Do I fan smoking tinder when I rush to identify others’ weaknesses and feel gleeful at their failures? Do I offer them temptation under the guise of “It’s only a small piece” or “Surely one more won’t hurt”. Am I more concerned about being liked than about being God’s? Am I responsible for human fires that rage in my wake because I have led others into temptation? Forgive me, Father, when I am careless with the lives of others. Please help me control my own behavior and act always with patient, forgiving love. Amen.

GratitudeGratitude

We met friends for lunch today at a restaurant whose porch overlooks the bay.  Seabirds called and swooped, the clouds made their spectacular background mullet jumped in wide arcs, and the summer sun warmed our bare arms.  Just enough breeze played over us as we ate our seafood, making the setting comfortable, adding to our mutual enjoyment.  Driving home, I thought of the experience I’d just enjoyed.  How often I take for granted these precious times—a beautiful setting, people I love, good health, ample food, and peace like a sweet taste on my lips.  I often say the words, “Thank you, Lord, for this day,” but I don’t always let myself communicate how precious the day has been, how grateful I am for its goodness, how blessed I am to live in the moment here and now.  How blessed I am to be assured of a place set aside for me in eternity!  So I repeat now, “Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful day.  I give you praise and gratitude for the gifts you so richly shower upon me.” Amen.

 

Dancing SunlightDancing Sunlight

The sun sparkled and danced on the water this morning, making a pattern of diamonds almost too bright for me to watch.  As I walked on the beach, my perspective changed, and yet from every angle the sun’s water dance was the same, flashing brilliance at me as I moved beside the sea.  How blessed I am!  No matter what I do or how I move, I am enfolded in God’s love just as the sun’s reflection on the water stays with me. Like a diamond studded wrap, it stretches out before me in good times so I can celebrate and appreciate its beauty.  When hard times come, the sun’s water dance is draped over me, wrapping and comforting me with its security.  Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for your love which lets me share your beauty, comforting me when I am troubled.  May my life reflect the brilliance of your dancing sunlit patterns to all whom I meet. Amen.