Sometimes it can feel like we have no resources. Sometimes it can feel like we don’t have enough to do this, that, or the other thing. Sometimes we don’t know what’s in our hand. Do you ever feel this way? Do you ever just wish someone would lend you a hand? Well I have some good news for you today my friend!
This past month I’ve been reading in Exodus and I’ve discovered some things that have made me stop and wonder. No, not the plagues. I’m talking about the part where God calls Moses. This time as I read through a few things came to light that have really encouraged and challenged me.
Moses is out tending some sheep. He’s just minding his own business when God calls him to do something pretty crazy. God wants Moses to lead His people out of slavery. If that isn’t a job upgrade I don’t know what is. Moses is terrified and I can’t say I blame him. He didn’t yet recognize who God is and how God enables people.
So how does God enable us? “Then Moses answered, ‘But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’ The Lord said to him, ‘What is that in your hand?’ He said, ‘A staff.’ And he said, ‘Throw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it.’” (Exodus 4:1-3)
I am learning that God often enables us with the thing we already have in our hands. A lot of times we miss it because it looks so ordinary. It looks like a shepherd’s staff, just a stick. It looks like our current job, family, relationships, hobbies…even limitations. The everyday things are what we hold in our hands. Maybe we’ve gotten stuck in moving forward because all we see is that we’re holding an ordinary stick. It is an ordinary stick but here’s where we begin to recognize who God is.
God takes what is in our hands and he does something amazing with it when we are willing to listen to him and surrender it before him. Moses had to throw it down before the Lord. It changed into something he wasn’t expecting, a snake. And Moses ran from it. Are you scared of what the Lord might show you? God then tells Moses to pick it back up and the snake returns to a staff.
See the thing is, God enabled the staff to change. God is always at work to enable us to use the ordinary things for His glory. He wants us to partner with him in the big things he’s doing just by being faithful with what we have.
“What has God given you? Moses had a stick, David had a slingshot, and Paul had a pen. Mother Teresa possessed a love for the poor; Billy Graham, a gift for preaching; and Joni Eareckson Tada, a disability. What did they have in common? A willingness to let God use whatever they had, even when it didn’t seem very useful. If you will assess what you have to offer in terms of your time, your treasure, and your talents, you will have a better understanding of how you might uniquely serve.” ~ Richard Stearns
My friends it gets better though. You see before we get to the verses in chapter four about Moses’ hand we learn about God’s hand. “But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand.” (Exodus 3:19) God is telling us His hand will do the work. His hand will bring us freedom. His hand will accomplish great things. Many years later He’d show us again what was in His hand with His Son Jesus.
You know what Jesus had in his hands? Jesus had nails in his hands. He had nails so that we don’t have to be afraid. He had nails so that we can be healed. He had nails so that we can have resources. He had nails so that we can have help and hope. He had nails in his hands so that I can raise my hands in surrender and worship and live free. Because of what he took in his hands we can offer back to him what is in ours so that he might use it in incredible ways. What is in your hands today friends? If God can use an ordinary stick or some nails he can use what you have too.
“Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The LORD has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.” (Psalm 98:1-2)
P.S. Hey friend, want more encouragement in your life? I’ve started a Dear Wednesday encouragement crew and if you’d like to be a part of it (and not miss out on the Wednesday post!) make sure to leave your email below or sign up here! I’m excited to send you mail on Wednesday!