Week 35 Tuesday

With You Wherever

Today’s scripture selection: First Chronicles 15-19

Key verses: First Chronicles 17:7-8

“Now then: tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel.  I have been with you wherever you have gone….”

David’s story is an amazing tale, with more twists and turns than you can easily follow.  There were times when he exhibited the most faithful courage; and times he acted in the most despicable cowardice.  He was at times God’s champion; and yet at another point in his life he was a man who would do anything, even murder, to carry out his adulterous acts.  He could write beautiful poetry of great spiritual depth and he could act in cold indifference to sacred life.  He was, to say the least, an enigma.

But God could ultimately say of him, “I have been with you wherever you have gone…”  Obviously, this can’t mean God was approvingly watching over David during the times when he acted in terrible ways.  But it does mean that, when God repented and humbly turned back to God, God was willing to forgive and embrace him again.

And of course we know David was a fundamentally important part of God’s plan to bring the world the Savior it needed so desperately.

What does that suggest to us about God’s plan for us?

I think it bears testimony to the wonderful fact that despite our weakness; despite our faults; despite our willful disobedience at times – God still holds each soul in the hollow of His hand.  He won’t force us to love him or follow him; but He holds us close to Him when we desire that relationship.

There is nothing we can do; nothing we can say; no place we can go that “can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus” expect our insistence to be separated from Him.

It’s always our choice.

“With you wherever you go….” It isn’t just a promise made to Shepherd Kings.  It’s made to you and me.

Prayer: Thank you Lord, for your everlasting covenant; your unwavering love.  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 meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. 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, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. 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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