Week 13 Friday

Before You Were Even Born

Today’s scripture selection: Jeremiah 1-6

Key verses: Jeremiah 1:5

He was a prophet, called to speak to a people who didn’t want to listen.  Worse, as a nation they were moving toward destruction at a frightening pace.  Eventually, a kingdom called Babylon would swallow them up.  And the prophet who had warned them would weep.

It’s not a happy story – at least not in the short run.  It’s a tale of warning gone unheeded and the dire consequences of such refusal.

On the other hand, in points the way to eventual repentance – a turning back – to the God who never forgets His people.

I love the words God speaks to this weeping prophet when he is called:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Those are hopeful words about how our lives can have a great purpose – even if in the short run we can’t see what it is.

I am sure that there were many times when young Jeremiah wanted to throw in the towel.  And over the course of his forty year ministry, I am sure there were many additional times he wanted to say “what’s the use?”

But God knew the message that needed to preached.  He knew the outcome that Jeremiah couldn’t see but only foresaw in faith.

There is no telling what God has in store for you.

And like a weeping prophet there may be times when the future seems very unclear and your voice is falling on stopped up ears.

But have faith – if you are in prayerful line with the will of God – your purpose will eventually be made clear.  And it will all have been worth it.  It always is.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to walk with you, even through the days that seem meaningless.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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