The Lord Gives
1Moses asked the Lord, “Suppose everyone refuses to listen to my message, and no one believes that you really appeared to me?”
2The Lord answered, “What's that in your hand?”
“A walking stick,” Moses replied.
3“Throw it down!” the Lord commanded. So Moses threw the stick on the ground. It immediately turned into a snake, and Moses jumped back.
4“Pick it up by the tail!” the Lord told him. And when Moses did this, the snake turned back into a walking stick.
5“Do this,” the Lord said, “and the Israelites will believe that you have seen me, the God who was worshiped by their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
6Next, the Lord commanded Moses, “Put your hand inside your shirt.” Moses obeyed, and when he took it out, his hand had turned white as snow—like someone with leprosy.
7“Put your hand back inside your shirt,” the Lord told him. Moses did so, and when he took it out again, it was as healthy as the rest of his body.
8-9Then the Lord said, “If no one believes either of these miracles, take some water from the Nile River and pour it on the ground. The water will immediately turn into blood.”
10Moses replied, “I have never been a good speaker. I wasn't one before you spoke to me, and I'm not one now. I am slow at speaking, and I can never think of what to say.”
11But the Lord answered, “Who makes people able to speak or makes them deaf or unable to speak? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Don't you know that I am the one who does these things? 12Now go! When you speak, I will be with you and give you the words to say.”
13Moses begged, “Lord, please send someone else to do it.”
14The Lord became angry with Moses and said:
What about your brother Aaron, the Levite? I know he is a good speaker. He is already on his way here to visit you, and he will be happy to see you again. 15-16Aaron will speak to the people for you, and you will be like me, telling Aaron what to say. I will be with both of you as you speak, and I will tell each of you what to do. 17Now take this walking stick and use it to perform miracles.
When God first extended his call in my life as a speaker the first thing I did was question him to make sure he knew who he was dealing with. I had a speech impediment as a child. I hated public speaking! I cringed when I had to take it in college. Full of self-doubt and fear, I was sure I’d written the book on every excuse for opposing God’s call. That is, until I read through Moses’ story. Moses and I became well-acquainted through that time.
When we’re faced with something we think is beyond us, the first part of “self” revealed is our inadequacy. But therein lies our problem and solution. We feel inadequate because we are . . . without Christ.
But how many opportunities do we miss because we give into our inabilities instead of believing in God’s abilities. “What ifs” fill our minds until God steps in and asks, “What is that in your hand?”
Notice what God is referring to in this passage: a rod, a staff, a stick of wood! But here’s where it gets good! God uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary. He always has and he always will. His power is perfected in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). He uses the unimportant to get people’s attention. He delights in using everyday things to perform his wonders. More so, he thrives on drawing out the potential we already “hold in our very hands”. We just may not know it or know what to do with it.
Believe it or not, God’s given you gifts, abilities, resources and everything you need to accomplish the task he’s called you to fulfill. (See 1 Corinthians 1:4-7 and 2 Peter 1:3).
We can lament in our limitations, we can drown in impossibility…or we can use what God’s given us to make a difference. You really do have what it takes! It’s right in your hand!!
Lord, thank you for choosing to use me in spite of myself. Thank you for reminding me that I really do have what it takes to serve you. It’s right in my very hand! Thank you for providing me with all that I need to do what you’ve called me to do. Amen