World Conference 2023

God Remains

13 September 2023

By Merna Short of Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia

For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

3 Nephi 10:18

I find illustrations of God in my garden. I chose a Daphne bush to plant for the beauty of its blooms and the fragrance they share. I had one of these bushes years ago, and as people passed, they often stopped to enjoy its perfume wafting in the air.

I chose a spot near a beautiful flowering gum tree. Its lower limbs would offer dappled shade the bush would need to thrive. Preparing to plant, I filled the hole with water. As it slowly absorbed into the soil, I watched entranced at the beauty of the gum tree reflected in the pool. I felt drawn into a sacred place. The soil drank deeply of the life-giving water to nourish the plant.

I thought of God as the tree always present with us, the life-giving water reflecting the Divine image and feeding us. We, too, can draw deeply. After the reflected image is gone, God is still there. God does not remove Divine steadfast love from us.

We, like the Daphne bush, can share the beauty and fragrance of our lives…a blessing for all who pass to absorb.

Master Gardener, we would plant your Word, nurture the heart where it grows, and remain a steadfast and caring cultivator. We would reflect your light so peace will thrive.

Prayer Phrase

“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Spiritual Practice

All That Lives

Take a walk and find a tree where you can sit (or imagine walking and sitting beneath a tree). Lean against the tree and feel the texture of the bark. Listen to the wind move through the leaves. Sit quietly and sense God’s presence flowing through the trees and all creation. Offer a prayer of gratitude for your connection to all that lives. Ask for grace to discern and carry out one small act of justice or healing that creates greater wholeness for the plants, animals, trees, waters, air, and land that are part of the community of 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.

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