Week 45 Tuesday

Unexpected Help

Today’s scripture selection: Second Chronicles 33-36

Key verses: Second Chronicles 33:22-23

“In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing: ‘This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the LORD their God be with them.’”

Almost half a century after their temple had been destroyed, a foreign king conquered the one who had sent them into exile, and allowed the people of Judah to return from captivity.  And even though it had been prophesied – I imagine it was pretty unexpected help.

Life can be like that.

We feel as if we are in “exile” ourselves.  We feel abandoned; forgotten; oppressed.  And then, suddenly, and every unexpectedly – there is help – and hope.

How do we explain it?

Some say “Well, I guess my luck is changing.”

Some say “Well, finally, my hard work has paid off.  I’ve managed to turn things around!”

Some don’t try and explain it at all – they just “thank” their “lucky stars” and move on.

But people of faith humbly bow in prayer and thank the One they know intimately.  They thank God for His amazing grace; once again at work.

I imagine when the people of Judah were allowed to come out of exile – some cynically and bitterly said – “What took so long?”

But I think there were probably many, many more who lifted their eyes to the heavens and simply said “Thank you.”

How about you?  How has God recently provided wonderful, merciful, unexpected help?

Can you see it?  If you can – give thanks.

Prayer: Lord, help me to see your miraculous hand at work, in the most unexpected and gracious of ways.  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

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: