When God asks you what you’re working with, it’s not that He doesn’t know. He wants to make sure you do.
I finally read the Bible all the way through for the first time a couple years ago. After my son was born, there were a number of things I said I needed to tick off my bucket list…among them was reading the ENTIRE Bible.
Interestingly, before then, I’d read every book of the Bible several times with the exception of Revelations. Given my experience with predictions and premonitions, something about watching those things come to pass before my very eyes – especially given how it all ends – I couldn’t hang.
Yes, I know that shouldn’t be the focus – especially since if I know I’m saved I know what comes next for me is far better than anything I could endure here, but I digress. After reading the Bible all the way through some time ago, I did it once more…then never again. So, at the start of this year I revisited my quest to re-read the entire Bible again.
I’ve reached the story of Moses (one I’ve studied extensively over the years, but that’s another post). While reading, a passage stuck out to me that I’ve otherwise overlooked. I don’t know, but something about it this time resonated deep within me and made me quiver a little:
“Then the Lord said to [Moses]. ‘What is that in your hand?’ ‘A staff,’ [Moses] replied” (Ex 4:2, NIV).
I read that passage over about four times asking the same question. Why would God ask Moses what’s in His hand? God already knew what was in His hand. Seriously, what was the point of that?
And then it hit me: When God asks you what you’re working with, it’s not that He doesn’t know; he wants to make sure you do!
After Moses “informs” God that it’s a staff in His hand, God instructs him to cast it down. “Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the Lord said to him, ‘Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.’ So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand” (Ex 4:3-4).
Moses knew he was holding a staff in his hand; he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt. However, when God gave Moses his instruction, the very thing Moses thought he knew about became something he feared.
This is like Peter on the water with Jesus. Peter was a skilled fisherman when Jesus found him, so it’s likely that Peter was familiar with storms. He knew how to handle the boat in response to the winds and waves. But Peter wasn’t in the boat when he freaked out.
When God is calling you to something greater He will often start with where you are and what you know. When this passage popped out at me, “What is that in your hand?” I immediately wanted to share it.
I’m personally in the midst of trying to figure some things out myself and I’m often looking far beyond where I am right now, trying to assess what I still need to do to get where I believe God is calling me rather than looking at where I am right now – at what’s in my hand.
I don’t know who this will reach or whom it will touch, but I hope that this helps someone. I hope someone reading this can see themselves in this post. I hope someone out there in cyberspace recognizes that the past few days, weeks, months – maybe even years – of being reminded of what your capacity and capabilities has been God’s way of asking you “what is that in your hand?” What are you holding onto that, once blessed by God, is going to be the very tool, the very resource, the very skill that is going to put you where he always intended for you to be.
When you stop trying to tell God what you would like to work with, and instead let him bless what you’re already working with, you can go from holding a staff that becomes a snake, to holding a staff that parts seas! When God blesses what you have in your hand, use it for His glory – the more you do the more powerful it (and you) become.
So tell me friend, what is that in your hand…in your head…in your heart? Acknowledge it, let Him bless it and watch it grow. And when it’s all done then do it all again.
Good luck and God bless,