Week 51 Wednesday

Simple Understanding

Today’s scripture selection: Psalms 146-148

Key verse: Psalm 147:5

“You just don’t understand!”

How many times has that phrase been uttered through tears; yelled in anger; whispered in disbelief?

How many times have children said that to their parents or spouses said that to one another?

Sometimes, regardless of who is “right” or “wrong”, what we most desperately want someone to do is at least try and understand our position.

Well Holy Scripture promises us that there is Someone who does just that.

“Great is our Lord and mighty in power, his understanding has no limit.”

Let those words sink in for a moment.

“…his understanding has no limit.”

Our world and its inhabitants are all about limits.

There are limits to our patience.

There are limits to our compassion.

There are limits to our desire to help.

There are limits to our willingness to understand.

But not with God – without editorial footnote; without legalese that sets the conditions – Scripture simply says that God’s understanding has no limit.

Now, while that is not the same as saying God always agrees with us – always says we are “right” – it is a bold proclamation that God is always willing to hear our version of the “story” – whatever it may be.

And what more compassionate; loving; fair hearing could we receive than that?

Prayer: Lord, when I feel misunderstood, help me to remember that you always do understand – and care.  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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