Today’s Scripture Selection: Matthew 7:7-8

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

I’ve always loved these encouraging words spoken by Jesus, assuring us of God’s willingness to help us find the answers – the Way – we most desperately need in life.

I’ve also been struck by the fact that these words point toward, not just encouragement, but also effort.

Another way of saying this is that persistence is part of the plan.

  • Ask
  • Seek
  • Knock

Clearly, the way to discern God’s will and desire for you and your life isn’t to just sit quietly and wait until God comes knocking, at least not all the time.

Yes, there are times when we need to stop all our frenzied activity and “Be still, and know” that God is God.  Prayerful meditation and quietly waiting for an encounter with God is sometimes exactly what we need to do.

But there are also times when we need to take the initiative.  In fact, I would even argue that sometimes what seems like mere waiting for something to happen is taking the initiative; is knocking on God’s door.

And at other times, the effort needed is even clearer.

  • Reading scripture
  • Talking to a fellow pilgrim in the faith
  • Talking to a trusted pastor or counselor
  • Become involved, or more involved, in a new way to worship, serve, and praise God
  • Find someone else who needs God and help that person find God

These are all ways we can make the effort to reach God – all the while knowing and trusting God wants to reach you.

“Seek, and you shall find.”

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your ever present willingness to reach and be reached.  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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