Week 16 Thursday

Counting Our Steps

Today’s scripture selection: Job 31-32

Key verses: Job 31:2-4

“For what is our lot from God above, our heritage from the Almighty on high?  Is it not ruin for the wicked, disaster for those who do wrong?  Does he not see my ways and count my every step?”

     Job was just about at the end of his defense.  He had maintained his integrity through it all.  Still, those around him had nothing but judgment and ridicule for him.

     He left it at this: Doesn’t God see his ways – or as he put it – “count my every step”?  If so – it will be clear that he has been honest in saying that the judgment was undeserved.

     What I find hopeful in that final defense is the simple acknowledgement that God does not leave us to our own devices.

     We are not creatures who must walk through our days alone; created and then abandoned – for good or ill.

     True – it can be disconcerting to think the Almighty is “watching” us – is aware of our choices, good and bad.

     But isn’t it also of great comfort that the One who lovingly created us isn’t just “watching” us – but “watching over us”?

     I believe that can be a helpful way to think about the God who counts our step as we take them.  Not literally counting them; not callously waiting for us to stumble, but walking with us through it all – good and bad.

     Job was convinced that he had done no wrong – at least nothing to deserve all the hardship he had experienced.  As we will see, he needed to learn a little humility.  But, at its core, his argument was sound.  He was a righteous man.

     His life can also remind, and reassure us, that we do not walk alone in life.  A watchful, caring God has His eye on us, every step along the way.

 

Prayer:  Lord, I thank you for your watchful care.  And when I stumble, show me the way to the right path again.  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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