Get Thee Out

There could be no mistaking.  It wasn’t a suggestion, mere food for thought.  It was a command – clear – black and white – and very emphatic – “Get Thee Out!”

At least that’s how I hear God’s call to Abram to leave his country, his extended family, his culture, his way of life.  At what we would call “retirement age” Abram was to begin a new journey, heading into Promised Land.  In so doing he would become a blessing to all the world and an example to all of true faith.

How might you have responded to such a call?

Would you be tempted for more details?  Would you ask God to clarify what he means by the promised land?  Would you object, saying that you think you deserve an easier task or a lighter schedule?  I know I might be tempted to ask for all of those things.

But Abram went.  In stages, even stopping along the way before finally, once and for all, journeying to the land – and the life – to which he was called.

Because he did – we now know and speak reverently of him – two thousand years after he lived.

We don’t always know where, or why, God is calling us.  In fact, we often do not know such things.   But in my experience every single time I have stepped out on pure faith, with only a prayer on my lips, it has never been wasted or ill-fated time spent.  In fact, it has always been the next step to a deeper, fuller, richer relationship with God.

So, the next time you hear the call, I advise you to “Get Thee Out!”  Take the plunge – follow in faith.  The God who has promised to uphold with His everlasting arms of love will not let you down, nor will He let go of you halfway.

You may not know where you are heading – and there may be more than a few bumps along the way – but I promise you – it may just be the trip of your life.

That is, your everlasting life.

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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