Wednesday, December 15

 Micah 4:1-4
They shall beat their swords into plowshares.”

Quite a few years ago, when I was closer to the start of my career than the end, I worked with a colleague who was difficult. And that is putting it mildly. This person always seemed disgruntled, picking arguments in meetings for what seemed like no reason. Her general bad attitude frequently turned meetings into battles and kept us from making decisions and moving forward. I remember walking down the hall to meet with her on more than one occasion and silently praying that God would show me how to better deal with this person. I desperately wanted to turn this sword of a person into a plow.

In Micah, the prophet makes reference to this. He prophesied that God would cause nations to “beat their swords into plowshares.” This is an image that is repeated in other places. It is referenced again in Isaiah 2:4: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares.” While a powerful image, actually turning from war and conflict to peace and productivity is not an easy task. I wish I could say that my prayers were answered and the difficult colleague turned into a pleasant co-worker. I can’t say I ever turned that particular sword into a plow. Though on a few occasions, I may have dented the sword a little.

One thing God continues to show me is that I do not have to be in control of every sword. He hears my prayers and will fulfill His promises as prophesied by Micah. I may not be able to wrestle the sword out of another’s hands. I can’t stop war, strife and violence in all the places it is happening around the world this Christmas season.
But God can. And He will.

Advent promises that the Christ child is coming. It also promises that he will come again. He will reign in peace and every sword will be surrendered.
As I have gotten older, I have learned to trust God more, even when I can’t see him answering my prayers. I know that in the midst of conflict, whether it is minor work problems or a world at war, I can experience peace through my relationship with Christ. During this season of Advent, let us pray for peace in our world, our jobs, our families, and our hearts as we wait for the promised coming of the Christ Child.

-Mary Miller

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