Today’s Scripture Selection: Isaiah 26:8

“Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”

And while we are on the subject of how the scripture often uses words differently than our common culture…let’s talk about this thing called desire.

Desire can be healthy and normal or unhealthy and perverse.

It can bring to mind images of passion and pursuit.

But here, in Isaiah, it brings to mind something akin to devotion.

As God’s children our hearts desire God.

We want more than just a “follow the rules” mentality to be the hallmark of our life with God.

We want to do more than just avoid punishment or hardship.

We desire relationship, love, purpose, divine companionship, and much more.

And those are all very good things, indeed.

So, while in this life there are clearly some things we might desire that are not good – this isn’t one of them.

Letting our hearts desire God, craving that walking in the way of God’s will for our lives – that is a path we should all pursue passionately.

Again, the prophet says it well:

“My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you.”

It’s passionate stuff to be sure; and very, very good.

Prayer: Lord, may my heart’s desire always be for you and your way.  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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