Earlier this month, the temperature rose to 80 degrees! I had a couple of hours between meetings and wanted to take advantage of the beautiful day by walking on Wisconsin Point, along the Superior Lakeshore.
As I began my walk, I noticed that Lake Superior was extremely still, with just some waves gently washing across the shore. This was in stark contrast to all the stormy seas that were happening in the world around me: the waves of a pandemic, waves of racial injustice, waves of the election season, waves of wild fires, and the literal waves of hurricanes. In this moment, I needed some gentleness and stillness, and God gave it to me through Lake Superior and a Scripture verse, “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from God,” Psalm 62:5.
As I prayed and walked, I spotted a white and pink rock peeking out from wet, dark sand. It was smooth, round, and easily fit into my hand. I decided that this rock was a tangible reminder of this walk and my connection to God. I have carried this rock with me. I have pulled it out during meetings. I have touched it to remind me that in God I find rest and peace.
Join me in praying, “Faithful and present God, You are not blind to the storms that rage in this world, or to the illness that threatens. Some are visible, but others are hidden in our hearts. Lord, bring Your refuge and healing strength. Make us still in Your safety.
“When what seems permanent begins to crumble, when devastation ravages the earth, when powers that be claim Your authority – let us remember the joy You have set before us. Lord, help us to let go of fear and doubt. Make us still in Your waters of gladness.
“God, Creator of time, we hurry from task to task, from crisis to crisis, carrying the weight of the world. Or in this new season of quarantine, we let time pass without meaning. But the world is Yours, and everything in it. Let us lay down both what keeps us too busy to be still and stillness that is void before You so that we may lift our eyes to Your glory. Lord, we come into Your presence. Make us still in You. Amen” (Adapted prayer by Michele Henrichs).
May this devotion provide you with a moment of faithful reflection and care. You are involved in ministries of justice and witness, in ministries of standing up and standing with people working to create better systems and communities, in ministries of learning and searching and researching to become more aware and awakened, more technologically savvy and proficient, more virtually and personally present in your churches and communities and world. Each of us who serve as members of your Wisconsin Cabinet write these devotions in grateful prayer for you – for sustenance and buoyancy, for strength and courage, for safety and just actions, and for faith and love to be full and fulfilled in your daily lives. God’s grace and blessings, God’s challenge and healthy discomfort, God’s Spirit and energy be with you, in the hope Christ offers us all.