Fear and Grumbling

Fear and Grumbling

Scripture selection: Numbers 14:1-4

“That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud.  All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

Once fear set in, the grumbling soon followed.  The sequence was predictable.

First – the “bad report” from those who had spent to check out the Promised Land – the report that suggested that even God could not protect the people from such formidable enemies.

Second – the fear – what could such a “grasshopper” size people do now?

Third – the grumbling – they shouldn’t have listened to this fool Moses in the first place!

And finally, the paralysis set in.

It can happen to us too.

We can so easily be paralyzed by our own fears, doubt, and negativity.

If, when we are tempted to think and act in such a way, we can only remember God and God’s promises, we need not be so easily defeated.

“Fear not!” How often do we hear that coming from God in the scriptures?  We hear it again and again.

So, don’t allow “fear and grumbling” to have control.  Its source is anything but the God who rules the universe.

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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