Then Came the Grumbling

Then Came the Grumbling

Today’s Scripture Selection: Exodus 15:23-24

It didn’t take long.

The people, after so many years of bondage and oppression, after their miraculous salvation by God via Moses, after wandering for a while in the desert, began to complain.  Isn’t that just like human nature?

“When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter.  So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, what are we to drink?”

Now, I’ve never wandered in the desert in need for water for three hours much less three days.  So I can imagine the people were in a tough and very uncomfortable place, to say the very least.

Yet, I remain baffled that just a few days after witnessing all the miraculous provision of God’s love, they were so quick and so adamant in their grumbling.

I’d like to think I would have had a little more faith than that.

On the other hand, maybe I would have been the first to go to Moses looking for a little refreshment.

None of us can really know just how weak our “flesh” might be in such situations.

What we can do, is remember that time and again God was faithful – even when His people were not.

If we can remember that, maybe the next time we feel bitterness rising up in our throat – we can swallow hard – and just wait.

God will most likely be along any minute with the very refreshment we so desperately need.

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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