Journeying On

Journeying On

Today’s Scripture Selection: Exodus 40:38

“So the cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels.”

They began their journey as slaves; they journeyed on as a free people, guided by their God.  Clearly, their problems were far from over and they continued to struggle as a people of God but, they journeyed on with God guiding them.

So it is with our spiritual journey.

There are times when we are, or at least feel, as if we are in bondage of some sort.

There are times when we feel free as a bird.

There are times – and perhaps this is how it feels most of the time – when we are somewhere in between, but we journey on by God’s grace.

I love the image of the fire that was “over the tabernacle by day,” and “in the cloud by night.”

It speaks to me of an ever-present, ever-watchful, ever-loving, ever-holy God traveling through both difficult and joyful times alike.

There are certainly times when I wish I could have a “sign” from God that is as dramatic and clear as fire hovering over that tabernacle or in the cloud at night.

Still, there are also times when I sense and “see” God’s guiding presence quite clearly.

I hope that is the case for you on your spiritual journey as well.

So, journey on.  As the scripture says, “draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you.”

By day, by night, God will draw nigh to you.

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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