Moses, sweltering in the heat of the Sinai desert, is engaged in a pity party. “I can’t do what you want, Lord, because of this excuse and that excuse. People won’t accept me. I can’t talk good. Let somebody else do it.”
But arguing with God is never a good idea. You don’t win. Even if you say “No” (and God may let you), you lose. When you say “no” or “I can’t,” you miss out on the great adventure God has for you when you’re in the center of His will for your life. But what is that will?
In the barren wastes of the Sinai, God asks Moses a simple question: “What’s in your hand?” Moses is a shepherd. That’s all he’s done for 40 years, and he’s ready to retire at age 80. “What’s in your hand, Moses?”
Moses looks at his hand. “A staff,” he tells God — as if God didn’t know. Duh!
The Lord says, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses does so, and it becomes a snake. God tells him to pick it up by the tail and it turns back into a staff. Hmmm. Over the next 40 years of Moses’ life, God uses that simple wooden stick to deliver the Israelites from Pharaoh, to open the Red Sea, to win a battle with the Amalekites, to bring water from a rock.
Who would have thought?
As Moses learns to use in faith what God has put in his hand, his life is changed — as well as the course of world history.
My question to you is: What has God put in your hand? Do you wonder how God might use you? See what He has given you. God equips people in various ways. I like to have people over to my home, you might say. Another might respond, I’m good with my hands. I can help a group get things done. I like to cook. I have the gift of gab. I like to keep things tidy. And so on.
Offer to God in faith what He has given you, no matter how simple, and God will use it — sometimes supernaturally — to do His work. You’ll have a new sense of meaning, since you’ll begin to realize how God is using simple things in new and wonderful ways.
When Jesus sees a hungry crowd he says to his disciples: “You feed them.” They are stunned by the magnitude of the need. So Jesus brings it down to their level. “Okay, Andrew, do a little inventory. Find out what food we have on hand.” Andrew checks around. “There’s a boy here with five loaves and two fishes. So what?” Jesus ignores his unbelief. He takes the bread and the fish, lifts them to God in thanksgiving, and then begins to distribute them to the people until all 5,000 plus women and children have been fed.
That’s how God’s work gets done. By weak people doing an inventory, then offering to Jesus what they find.
God has a world to save. You’re just one person. What difference can you make? I encourage you to do this simple inventory — count up your blessings, see what God has given you. That way, when God asks you, “What’s that in your hand?” you won’t answer: “Duh.” You’ll be able to tell Him — and then you can let Him use the gift / skill / resource / interest / relationship / opportunity to His glory.
Okay. Once more. What’s in your hand?