Just A Little More

Scripture selection: Luke 17:5

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

Every now and then the apostles of Jesus come right to the point.  They ask the Lord to do something, teach them, and grant some request of theirs that is straightforward and very to the point.  This was one of those occasions.

In the context of following his instruction to offer forgiveness to others – as if to admit how hard that can be to do – they ask “Increase our faith.”

I like the honesty I see in that encounter.

They are freely admitting that true, radical caring – particularly in the area of forgiveness – is something that at times may require of us great faith.

The good news is that Jesus immediately tells them that they can do much with just a little bit of faith.

Just a mustard seed portion, he says, is enough to move mountains.

I have always been encouraged by that.

It is enough, the Lord says, to just take that first, small step in the right direction.

We need not be great sages.  We need not be saints.

We only need to ask God to help us – give us – just a little bit of faith that taking that first step toward reconciliation, toward forgiveness, will work wonders.

And it does.  So often, it does.

Are in you in conflict with someone?  Does it seem that there is a mountain that needs to be moved before any reconciliation can take place?

Take heart – with just a little more faith – it can happen.

Why not take that first step today?

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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