What is in your hands?

What do you have in your hands? | Misselainious blogSometimes 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!

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4 Responses to What is in your hands?

  1. Nick Jesch August 1, 2016 at 11:32 am #

    Elaini this is great stuff. How often have any of us become aware of a situation but stood there, counting ourselves powerless to do anything? But we fail to realise the God we serve counts us as able in spite of our fears or deceits of inadequacy.

    Some years ago I believe the Lord showed me a useful picture. One of the things over which Solomon marvelled is “the way of a ship at sea”. I’ve been a sailor all my life, and one of the things I learned early on is that when the boat is “under way” (not tied up or anchored, but floating clear of everything) but “has no way on” (is not actually MOVING through the water) it is impossible to direct it. It is at the mercy of current, wiind, etc. What the Lord whowed me is that part of the “way of a ship at sea” is that to be effective it must MOVE. Then, even if going in the wrong direction, it can be RE-directed and accomplish that for which it is meant. Often when I’ve been “adrift” and “directionless” I’ve remembered this… and begun to MOVE in some direction, any direction. Since the Lord orders our steps (again, moving is necessary) I can trust that if I’m headed in the wrong direction HE will correct my course into one that suits HIS purposes.

    Moses had little direction beyond going to visit Pharoah… a man few Hebrews could approach. So he did… and God ordered his steps, backed up His direction with some pretty powerful deeds. But, had Moses sat on his thick end and said “Nope, I’m useless” and refused to MOVE, we’d probably all still be making bricks after getting our own straw.

    I was recently in a very serious situation involving some dear friends, had NO IDEA what to do, but felt compelled to GO and be with them. Even as I arrived and reconnected, I stil had no clue what to do. But, once I was there, HE showed me a surprising number of gifts and abilities which I “happen to have” and that perfectly answered a number of serious NEEDS in that situation. I stood in awe as many burdens were lifted, needs answered, some as simple as being there to allow the ones burdened by their situation to have some time relieved of responsibilities so they could get some much needed rest. What did I have in my hand? Nothing but a heart to help. So I went….. and I have NO question that the Lord was in every step and detail. And that I ended up getting “the best of the bargain” (my dear friends feel THEY got the better end of the “deal”…. now that is some accounting I like…).

    Yes, what we have in our hand is most often not what we think is there. And even when our initial assessment is accurate, God has an amazing way of bringing an increase the like of which never ceases to amaze.

    • misselaini August 15, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

      That is so cool and I love the part about moving and how God can redirect you. So very true. 🙂

  2. Abby August 2, 2016 at 8:01 pm #

    Oh, Elaini, I really needed to hear this today!! Thank you for being so faithful to blog. They are a constant encouragement to me. You have been gifted with such wisdom!! I am so thankful for you.

    • misselaini August 15, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

      Abby, I’m so happy to hear it encourages you. You’re so sweet and always very supportive and I really appreciate it! I’m thankful for you too. xxx

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