In Sunday School the other day we were talking about the fiery serpents that
came to the children of Israel. These serpents were everywhere.
They were biting people.
People were dying.
The frantic people went to Moses and begged him to tell God to get rid of the snakes.
Make. It. Go. Away. (Have you ever said that?)
God didn’t do that.
BUT, He did give them a solution to their challenge. It just wasn’t the one they wanted.
And we’re told in the Book of Mormon that some people didn’t act on the solution they were given.
I’ve always wondered why they didn’t.
I know that sometimes we think things need to be bigger to be impactful.
That could be part of it.
But yesterday a woman in our class shared another reason I hadn’t
thought about. She said, if she had been there with poisonous snakes
slithering everywhere, she would not take her eyes off the ground! She
would be constantly looking around for the snakes trying to make sure
she was safe.
Of course you would!
We do that often with our challenges and concerns.
We’re so busy or so worried about something that it is difficult to stop
thinking about it and focus on something else instead.
But that is what we are asked to do.
We are asked to lift our eyes from the problems and concerns we have and
look to the solution, to the Savior.
It would have taken a lot of courage and faith for the children of Israel to stop
looking around for the snakes and look up to see Moses holding the
bronze serpent on a pole. BUT IF THEY WOULD HAVE, they would have been
Their concerns would have been taken care of.
The same goes for us.
If we would pause for a moment, if we would take a deep breath, if we
would remember what the Savior is offering, we would look up to Him. We
would find answers.
We would find comfort, peace, healing, strength.
In ALL of our challenges.
But that requires us to give up a little of our control which is hard
sometimes because we think we have to handle it or hold everything
But really, when we look to the Savior we have more power to do that
than we ever have alone.
From Dallin H. Oaks (4/2018):
“After reciting a seemingly small event that had great consequences, Nephi wrote, “And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things” (1 Nephi 16:29). The Old Testament includes a memorable example of this. There we read how the Israelites were plagued by fiery serpents. Many people died from their bites (see Numbers 21:6). When Moses prayed for relief, he was inspired to make “a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole.” Then, “if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived” (verse 9). Such a small thing for such a miraculous result! Yet, as Nephi explained when he taught this example to those who were rebelling against the Lord, even when the Lord had prepared a simple way by which they could be healed, “because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished” (1 Nephi 17:41).
That example and that teaching remind us that the simplicity of the way or the easiness of the commanded task cannot mean that it is unimportant to achieve our righteous desire.”