Week 20 Thursday


Today’s scripture selection: Job 39-40

Key verse: Job 40:4


     Sometimes…there just aren’t any words.

     Sometimes, either we have

  • Said everything we can think to say or
  • There just aren’t any simple answers or
  • The pain is too deep or
  • The beauty takes our breath away or
  • It just seems best to let the moment speak for itself or
  • Someone else has already said it better or
  • We are too tired to say anything or
  • Who knows why – but we just can’t say…anything.


Well, in Job’s case, God spoke – and Job listened.

He had cried and complained and questioned and done all he could do to plead his case before God and man.  And now, confronted by the sheer mystery of it all, and the awesome power of God, all he could say was

“I am unworthy – how can I reply to you?  I put my hand over my mouth.”

This part of Job’s story makes me uncomfortable.  Because I think what Job had to say had its merits. Clearly, he suffered.  And I don’t think he did anything to “deserve” his suffering – as some repeatedly said he did.

On the other hand, the mysterious encounter between God and Satan that started the whole ball rolling? – I am sure God had His reasons for doing that.  And I think it was no mere parlor game between God and Satan, with Job as the cue ball. 

No, I would not dare to question God’s ultimate purpose in doing what He did.

So – even in the face of the mystery – I can only do what Job did – shut my mouth.  I am speechless – willing to admit there is much in life I just don’t understand.  And maybe that’s how it should be.  At any rate, I am sure God knows what God is doing.

And that is enough for me.

Prayer: Mysterious God, I humbly bow in acceptance of You.  Open my eyes to what you would have me understand.  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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