Week 50 Wednesday

Level Ground

Today’s scripture selection: Psalms 143-145

Key verse: Psalm 143:10

It’s a cry for help.  And it comes from one who was well acquainted with danger: a shepherd named David.

He was

  • A courageous warrior
  • A confident king
  • A man of deep faith

And he wasn’t afraid to ask God for help.  When he dwelt “in darkness like those long dead,” and when his spirit grew “faint” and his “heart” was “dismayed” – he knew where to turn.

His prayer was a simple and direct one: “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”

Level ground – an interesting image for this former shepherd to use.  He knew mountain cliffs and crevices – and the lions that could hide there.  He knew rich pasture and still waters – and the peace that could be found there.  And he knew who could lead him to find them.

So when your life feels like just one more roller coaster ride; why not borrow David’s prayer?  Why not take it as your own?

Ask God, the Good Shepherd, to take the lead.  You will soon find yourself beyond the cliffs and crevices; sitting beside cool, calm waters.

You will find yourself once again on level ground.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Good Shepherd, thank you for leading me to the Promised Land of refuge.  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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