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What Is That in Your Hand?

by | Apr 3, 2024 | Equipping, Provision, Service

Thirteen years ago in the early Spring, my husband and I surveyed with satisfaction a recent purchase, a 22-foot Keystone Outback trailer. After we retired from teaching, we planned to use it to go “Down South” where the winters would be warmer, and take part in volunteer projects.

We were pleased with our purchase, but by itself it wouldn’t be any use to us. We had to equip it so we could use it for our winter plans, and connect it to our Ford Expedition.

My husband checked all the connections, filled the propane tanks, bought extra sewer hose, and made sure we had an extra external battery for an additional power source.

I organized the inside — buying small quantities of non-perishable staples, preparing meals to put into the tiny freezer, and selecting and packing clothes and linens. I gathered pots and cutlery, Mom’s lightweight Corelle dishes, and tried to fit stuff in to appropriate spaces. We didn’t want it to come crashing down if we made a sudden stop. Finally, our trailer was equipped, and we were ready to embark on our new adventure.

Just as we had to equip our trailer, God had to equip Moses with what he needed to free the Hebrew people, already enslaved for 400 long years. Moses had protested to the Lord when He wanted him to confront Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, to demand that he free them.

“‘What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, “The LORD never appeared to you”?’ Then the LORD asked him, ‘What is that in your hand?’ ‘A shepherd’s staff,’ Moses replied.” (Exodus 4:1,2 NLT)

A shepherd’s staff would not be useful in itself to free the Hebrews. But God imbued it with miraculous power, turning it into a snake to impress the Pharaoh, and later enabling Moses to use his staff to part the waters of the Red Sea, and to strike a rock to get drinking water. In the same way, God empowers us to do what He wants us to do, but we have to connect with His power.

“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood – may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him.” (Hebrews~13:20 NLT)

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. (Romans 12:6 NLT)

It is God who gives each of us capabilities to do what He wants to accomplish through us. To be effective to do what pleases Him, we have to realize that it is God who has endowed us, and that through His giftings we can do what we do best. We have to be willing to use our gifts wholeheartedly in His service. We can do that, because it is He who equips us to serve Him. What is that in your hand?

Heavenly Father, thank You that you equip us to serve You. May we use the capabilities You have given us to be effective in Your service. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Alice Burnett
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada


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