Today’s Scripture Selection: Psalm 40:1

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.”

Some of us are better at waiting than others.  I know I certainly have had more than a few impatient moments.

But when I read these words from the Psalms; when I hear how God “lifted (David) out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire” I am reminded of God’s amazing – and very patient – grace.

As I read the shepherd poet’s testimony about how he had a “new song” in his mouth; a “hymn of praise” to God – because of his willingness to wait on God and God’s timing – it gives me hope.

When I am impatient; anxious to get moving ahead; hurriedly making decisions that might be anything but the right ones – the Scriptures remind me – wait.  Just wait.

Now, granted, sometimes waiting is more a sign of paralyzing fear or avoidance than a sign of spiritual or emotional maturity.

Sometimes we need to, as my parents might have said, “get the lead out” and start doing something – anything!

But, David – who made some rash and devastatingly poor and hasty choices of his own – reminds us.  Sometimes, we need to wait patiently for the Lord.  That is, if we don’t want to go down some very wrong paths.

I suppose it comes down to balance.

We need to develop a willingness to bravely take action, in faith, when needed; and also develop an equally important willingness to wait on guidance and help from God when needed.

How do we know which to do?

I suggest we learn that by first doing something that always helps matters: pray.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I patiently wait on you and your perfect guidance.  Help me to know when and how to act on that guidance as well.  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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