Week 28 Tuesday

Even If

Today’s scripture selection: Second Kings 6-10

Key verses: Second Kings 7:1-2

     Some people are just hard to sell.

     They are skeptics with a capital S.

     Elisha had proven himself time and again.  As the prophet Elijah’s successor he was a great success.  He had a ministry that would last over 50 years and that ministry touched great nations.  He performed many miracles.

     Yet some just couldn’t or wouldn’t believe.

     Once, when Elisha promised God’s deliverance during a famine and siege – here’s what one of the king’s servants said:

     “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?”

     “Even if….”  Those two words are too often uttered by those of weak faith.

     And, let’s be honest, isn’t that all of us now and then?

We dare not wag our heads and shake our fingers at those who find it difficult to trust in God.  Because, given the right circumstances and enough pressure – we all fold – at least, I know I do.

No, we need to pray for strength and faith.  We need to pray that God helps us have the ability to believe in His promises.  Because without that divine assistance, who is free of the human frailty that can cause us to doubt?

I like that passage of scripture about the man who once cried out to Jesus,

“Lord, I believe…help my unbelief!”

I can identify with a fellow like that.

So – “even if” God does regularly open the floodgates of heaven, we must always pray that God helps us realize and believe in that miracle.  Then we won’t be doubt’s pawn.

Prayer: Lord, strengthen my faith when needed, so that I can faithfully believe in you.  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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