Week 42 He Watches My Coming and Going

By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)

Week 42

Scripture Readings: Psalms 120-121

Key Scripture Verses: Psalm 121: 3-4, 8 (NIV, Life Application Bible)

“He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”

“the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”

There have been times when I have felt all alone in the world, especially at a time when I was single and my parents were deceased. There have been times when I wondered if anyone noticed what I did or whether my contributions even mattered. I have wondered if anyone ever prayed for me. These are negative thoughts and thoughts that I know are unfounded, but I have felt them, even if they are not fully rational. But these scriptures are a comfort to me.

When I was a child, I never doubted that my parents would protect me, if they could. Of course, like any child, my fears were of the unknown and that my parents wouldn’t know if someone was hiding in my closet when I woke up in the dark. The open closet with white shirts and clothes that stood out in the dark suddenly didn’t look like clothes anymore hanging there—I looked to see if they moved, if they were ghosts in my closet. And I had nightmares of someone chasing me and not being able to scream and get anyone’s attention. I was afraid to look under the bed.

Today my fears are different and I am the adult who watches over myself. Luckily, I have a husband who also looks out for me and vice versa and I feel secure in that. I know the world is still a scary place at times, but I know that God is looking over us. And I know that God is in control.

Some believe that God is distant from us and doesn’t care about our day-to-day lives, but these verses tell me that not only does God pay attention, he never stops paying attention. He never sleeps on the job. He watches my coming and going.

I ask God regularly to watch my coming and going as I drive in my car, as I move about in the world, knowing that there are real dangers out there.

And I know that I will not live a perfectly healthy existence in my flesh-and-bone body—eventually, I will die. But, even in death, Jesus, my Lord and Savior, is in control and will see me safely home. Because he suffered, I cannot be sure that I will never suffer, but I know that he will help me bear whatever I need to bear. He will help me through whatever it is I must face, if I will only trust him.

He never slumbers, he is constantly on watch, he watches my coming and going. He cares about my safety. He cares about my everyday activities. He pays attention and takes note of all that I do. He does the same for you.

May we all trust in the comfort of his love and knowing that he watches over us.

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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