In a Foreign Land

In a Foreign Land

Today’s Scripture Selection: Genesis 39:1

“Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt…”

Sold by his brothers into slavery, Joseph was now in a foreign place – Egypt.

You might think this would lead to nothing good but in God’s providential grace, exactly the opposite began to happen.

Even though there would be a few twists and turns to come – including a stint in prison – chapter by chapter Joseph’s story would unfold not as his jealous brothers intended but as his gracious God intended.

There’s a word of grace in that for us, don’t you think?

Plans are funny things.  Sometimes (perhaps even often) they go awry.  You know, it’s the old “best laid plans of mice and men…” thing.

It may be

  • Our poor planning
  • Our poor judgment
  • Interference from others
  • Events which happen through no fault of our own but which change our lives dramatically

There can be all sorts of reasons why things go, at least for a while, “awry”.

The good news is God doesn’t let go of us during those dramatic, pivotal periods of transition.  Over and over again God is at work.

If you find yourself in a “foreign” land of your own today or tonight, take heart.  God may be just about to do some of His most dramatic and graceful work yet.

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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