Week 35 Wednesday

A Long Way

Today’s scripture selection: Psalms 102-104

Key verses: Psalm 103:11-12

“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

It’s been awhile since I was on an airplane.  But in recent years the occasion which has most often caused me to fly was to go visit family in Seattle, Washington.  On the way there you pass over mountains – big ones.  I love to look down on the incredible beauty of those towering mountain ranges.  And I find that remembering that sight causes me to recall these verses from the Psalms.

“As high as the heavens are above the earth…as far as the east is from the west….”

Those words aptly describe the idea of a plane traveling great distances; at great heights – thousands of miles from rural Virginia to Washington state.

But more than that, they describe the vastness – the height and depth and breadth of God’s love for His children.

There are times when we feel separated from God.

Either life’s circumstances or our own actions can cause us to feel very far away from Him.

But, in fact, the distance we should focus on is how far He removes our transgressions from us.  The greatness of his love spans any separation we feel – and lovingly brings us close to Him.  That is, if we allow it.

So, the next time you find yourself high up in the air – looking down on a tranquil scene miles below – you might want to remember this Psalm.  Remember how great God’s love is and how much he wants to remain close to you.

No matter how much distance you think there might be between the two of you.

Prayer: Holy, loving God, thank you for spanning the distance and offering me your love, time and 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 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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