Week 47 Tuesday

A Needed Change

Today’s scripture selection: Ezra 6-10

Key verse: Ezra 10:22

“For seven days they celebrated with joy the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because the LORD had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king of Assyria so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.”

All of us have had the problem of dealing with someone whose attitude was causing us difficulty.  All of us have had an attitude that was causing a problem for someone else.  And, I think it’s fair to say that we have all experienced what the right change of attitude – either on our part or another’s – can do.

What we might not always recognize, though, is that the change of attitude might come about due to God’s action in our lives.

I think people have a tendency to think that it’s all up to them.  That is, they think they can (and do) single handedly make the changes – either internally or externally – that make things happen as they “should.”

But I think God is often at work, behind the scenes, miraculously and providentially making things happen.


  • Adversary who seems to suddenly have a change of heart and mind
  • Family member who finally begins to listen and understand
  • Co-worker who, for a change, begins to be part of the team
  • Rebellious child who starts to learn and mature

Or, seen from another perspective, when you

  • Start to have a change of heart or mind
  • Begin to listen and understand
  • Begin to be part of the team
  • Start to learn and mature

God can – and is often – at work in all of these situations.

But what has to happen first?

There has to be an open channel of communication established – between us and God.  Prayer has to happen.  We must be willing, in faith, to lift up to God the issues at hand.  Then the needed change of mind, and circumstances, can take place.

Why not try it?  Take that pesky problem with which you have recently been struggling and pray for God’s loving intervention.

You may be surprised at how quickly things begin to turn around.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your willingness to work in my life, and in the lives of others – so that your will may be accomplished.  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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