Zephaniah 3:17 (CEB)

The Lord your God is in your midst—a warrior bringing victory.
        He will create calm with his love;
        he will rejoice over you with singing.


Strangely, today’s verse reminds me of the need for a foghorn in a misty harbor. As a young adult, I was fortunate to work along the coast of Maine, where I was often awakened to the low tones floating over the Penobscot Bay. In particular, I remember the tone of the foghorn coming from the middle of the harbor.  It was not a piercing emergency alarm. Instead, the foghorn gave this deeply calming, baritone-to-bass chord, from a jetty within the midst of everything. The sound was a long, slow baa-dum.

For me, that foghorn, which guided boats through the bay, became a comforting daily resonance. Still today, that sound creates a calmness within the center of my being. I am reminded how the Lord’s voice reverberates in the middle of everything. We often speak of the Lord as lighting or showing us the way. Yet, not only does the Lord provide light to our pathways, but God’s words also create a calmness that is felt and heard within each of us. The Lord’s presence creates a peace in our hearts that both steadies and rejoices. Our God rejoices in our very presence. It is not that God is rejoicing when we hurt, but that the Lord delights in us just as we are. Through the love of the Lord. we hear that gentle, reassuring whisper: “I am here. I will keep watch for you. I rejoice over you with singing.” In the midst of our foggy world, our Lord creates a calm in the storm – through love.

By Barbara Carlson

For Pondering & Prayer

Like the foghorn that guides ships, the presence of Our Lord guides and steadies us in the middle of our lives. Besides God’s words, sometimes there are even unusual sounds or images that remind us of God’s calming way. What daily sounds or images remind you of our Lord? How might these give you hope today and every day?

Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for our steadfast love.  Thank you for your words and the sound of your voice heard through so many of our everyday experiences.  As we long for peace, help us to know how your love is heard and resonates within each of us. Help us to share that love with others, creating calm wherever you lead us. Amen.