Week 15 Thursday

Out of Tune

Today’s scripture selection: Job 29-30

Key verses: Job 30:31

“My lyre is tuned to mourning, and my pipe to the sound of wailing.”

As Job came to the end of his long lament he gave us an eloquent image of grief and depression.  He spoke of a musical instrument that could only provide sounds of woe.

Or to put it another way, he lamented the fact that his life was “out of tune.”

Surely we can identify with those times in our lives when, despite our desire to make beautiful music, all we can summon is discordant noise.

Job was at a point in his earthly existence when nothing made sense and the God, on whom he had faithfully relied, seemed at best silent, and at worst, cruel and insensitive.

At such times there are no easy answers.  Job’s so called “friends” offered only platitudes and criticism.  Again, maybe you can identify with our woeful Job.

But, by God’s grace, such times do end.

Scripture says that mourning may last for the night, but in the morning joy returns.  Another old saying: time heals all wounds.

Now, if you are in the middle of a dark time, that assurance can seem like a mere band-aid on a gaping wound.  That’s why sometimes we need to just sit quietly with one another and allow the pain to be.

But, it is true.  In my experience – both personally and pastorally – I can assure you it’s true.

In time, there is hope and healing.

So, if you or someone you know is going through an “out of tune” time – hold on.

The music will begin again, one day.

Prayer: Lord, help me to be patient and trust in your love, when my spirit finds it hard to sing.  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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