Week 31 Wednesday

A Place to Dwell

Today’s scripture selection: Psalms 90-92

Key verses: Psalm 90:1-2

One of my favorite Psalms is the one that begins this way:

“Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.  Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”

There’s a timeless quality to that statement.

And it speaks to the idea that God is not some abstraction; some un-approachable Deity, but rather a “safe” place for us to dwell – or better put – a safe Person with whom to dwell.

Sometimes, especially in modern-day pop psychology, people like to talk about finding a “safe” place or person with whom to commune.  And, as far as it goes, it’s not a bad idea.

We all need someplace and someone with whom we can “let our hair down” and “be ourselves.”

But I think the Psalmist is speaking of something much deeper and more profound, spiritually speaking.

I think the Psalm is talking about how God is the Holy One who understands us more deeply than any other person on the face of the planet could and how God is the also the One who loves us more deeply than we can imagine – warts and all.

What peace there is in that realization.

People, no matter how good they are – and no matter how well-intentioned they are – are fallible.  And so, they can let us down; hurt us; even betray us.

But God knows no such boundaries.

God can see us for all we are; all we hope to be; all we wish we were be but aren’t.  And we are invited to commune with this One – to “dwell” there for all time – in perfect peace and acceptance.

Prayer:  Almighty, all-loving God, thank you for giving me that safe place close to you, for all time.  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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