Scripture selection: Numbers 27:16-17

Moses said to the LORD, “May the LORD, the God who gives breath to all living things, appoint someone over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the LORD’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”

The time had come – Moses was at the end of his life.  It was time to “pass the torch” of leadership.  So he did what he had done since their journey together had begun.  Moses asked God for guidance and help.  He prayed that a leader would be appointed – called – to carry on where he would now have to leave things.  Joshua was that man.

There comes a time in all our lives where we must turn to God with a similar request.  It may be that we are seeking direction vocationally.  It may be that we are seeking a leader whom we can follow ourselves.  It may be that, as a leader, it is time to pass the torch to someone else.  It may be our children are seeking direction and as parents we want to offer wise counsel.

Whatever the case – and in whatever life transition we might be facing – the example of Moses is a good one to follow.

We should, first and foremost, pray about it.

We should trust that whatever comes next is in accordance with God’s will for us and our family or church or business or profession.

It takes courage and faith to make such choices.

Still, I am encouraged as I go through the various stages of my own life, that there is an ever ready Counselor available to help my family and me to make the right choices.

Life is all about change.  Thank God – literally – that we do not face change and growth alone.  God goes with us each and every step of the way.  How wonderful that is!

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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