Week 39 Wednesday

Resting Easy

Today’s scripture selection: Psalms 114-116

Key verse: Psalm 116:7

“Return, O my soul, to your rest for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.”

There’s nothing quite like resting easy.

Of course, all sorts of people have different definitions of what rest is.

Some think it is a long awaited vacation in some far away resort.  Others think it’s a nap on a lazy afternoon.  Still others think rest has to do with mainly with a good ball game or fishing or flying a kite with their kids.

Some associate rest with retirement.  Some think there is “no rest for the weary” – they think of it as some cruel joke; something unattainable.

There are too many who can only think of rest as relief from illness or even the treatment for it.

And still more who think rest is only obtainable through meditation.

And, sadly, some equate rest with zoning out on alcohol or drugs – thinking that only some mind-altering chemical can do the trick.

For the Psalmist – real rest is something altogether different.

It’s spiritual in nature.  It’s serenity; tranquility; a resting in God’s care that goes deeper and further than one’s immediate circumstances.  The New Testament calls such rest the peace “that passeth all understanding.”

How do you find it?  There is only one way:  by being in a close, loving, honest relationship with God.

Now, all sorts of religious types will tell you how to find it – by following this doctrine or that one.  But, even as one of those religious types, let me let you in on a little secret.

It’s not about ritual or religion – it’s about relationship.

If you haven’t found such a relationship, I’d highly recommend it.  All you have to do is begin by asking – and listening – for that “still, small voice” to speak to your heart, mind, and soul. And then, just rest easy.  God will take it from there.

Prayer:  Lord, just as I am, I open myself to you, seeking the peace only you can give.  Come, Lord, come.  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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