Pain

Pain

Today’s Scripture Selection: Romans 8:22-23

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for the adoption as sons (and daughters), the redemption of our bodies.”

I’ve never experienced the “pains of childbirth” – and my hat is off to all those who have.

But I do think it is a particularly powerful and appropriate way for the apostle Paul to speak in trying to describe God’s great plan for humanity.

Life is painful – we all know that.

It can be, and is often, wonderful and joyful.

But there is also great pain involved as God “painstakingly” works out His great plan for us all.

There is redemption – and sacrifice.

There is love – and the hate that must be overcome.

There is grace – and the wages of sin, which is death.

There is life – and hope – bought at a high price.

And all of this points to the cross of Christ; and the crosses we bear in His name.

So childbirth – and the pain involved with it – yes, I think it’s a particularly good metaphor for all that God as Creator is doing.

“For in this hope we are saved.”

Prayer: Lord, may my spirit groan inwardly in the hope of present – and coming – redemption.  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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