“And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me… And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.” – Exodus 4:1-2
The LORD chose Moses to lead His people out of Egypt. The LORD uniquely prepared Moses for this special time. He kept Moses alive, even though Pharaoh commanded all Hebrew male babies to be killed. God prepared Moses to grow up in Pharaoh’s household, receiving a good education. The LORD used Moses’ mother to teach him early. He gave Moses the desire to identify with the people of God (the Hebrews) rather than the Egyptians. He taught Moses in the desert. When the time was right, the LORD called Moses to lead His people out of Egypt. The call was simply the LORD saying, “Come now… I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt” (Exodus 2:1-10; 3:1,10; Hebrews 11:24-26).
The “call” of God most often does not come with flashing lights, a special revelation, or an awesome experience. Jesus called his disciples with the simple words, “Follow me.” God got Moses’ attention with a burning bush, but God called Moses with simple words, “Come now.” Then He told Moses what He planned to do. When Moses argued with the LORD (all-caps means “Jehovah,” the supreme God who needs nothing and no one), the LORD said “What is in your hand?” Moses had a rod (long stick). Moses thought he only had a rod. But he did not realize that the LORD had prepared him for this special time to lead the Children of Israel out of Egypt.
What Was In My Hand? – Growing up, I had an interest in drama, music, word meanings, learning how things work, and fixing things. As a high school senior, I began to learn sign language. In all of these, and many other ways the LORD was preparing me.
In the fall of 1977, the LORD called me into the deaf ministry. I am glad that I did not argue, but immediately began preparing for this special ministry. I asked the administration at Bob Jones University, where I was a freshman, for permission to teach a basic sign language class. Naturally, my request confused them. Freshmen do not teach a university class. However, they allowed me to teach an extracurricular class with no pay, but with the blessing of the administration. For the next seven semesters I taught fellow students. My sophomore year, God brought another student, Dean Walters, whose parents were Deaf, to help. Dean may never know how much the LORD used him to teach me during that time. (Thanks, Dean!)
Looking back at my life now, I can see that the LORD put things in my hand that He would later use for His glory. That is my story. What is your story?
What Is In Your Hand? – What is your story? What has the LORD put in your hand? You are unique, the way the LORD made you. He uses your personality, your spiritual gifts, your natural talents, and the skills you have learned to prepare you for His work and His glory. So what do you have in your hand? Are you quiet or outgoing? Do you work best with people or do you focus on individual work? The LORD can use quiet people who work best on individual tasks (such as bookkeepers). Do you have skills such as typing, fixing, photography, cooking, software, painting, yard work? Are you naturally talented or gifted as a writer or organizer? Are you good with money? Do you like to clean, teach, help, or plan? Do you like details, have compassion, or do you always see the “big picture”?
Use What You Have for God’s Glory – A prepared meal is no good unless it is eaten. A prepared life is no good unless yielded to the LORD. In sign language, the sign surrender is to open your hands toward the LORD. The LORD prepared you for a special ministry. Do not argue with the LORD, as Moses did. You have a limited number of days to live. Yield your life to the LORD. Let Him use you.
Christian’s Prayer of Surrender: “Lord, I give you my life to use as you want. Take me. Use me. I am in Your hand!” Amen!