What’s in Your Hand?

What's in your hand

I’ve been reading about Moses this week.  I guess I should back up.  I’ve been reading the book Transcending Mysteries: Who Is God, and What Does He Want from Us? by Andrew Greer and Ginny Owens.  In this book, they’re searching for pictures of the Jesus in the Old Testament.  One of the chapters is about the call of Moses to be the leader of the Israelites in Exodus 3-4.  They’re relating this to stepping out in faith, but one line from one verse that they mentioned in passing really got me thinking.

When we get into chapter four of Exodus, Moses tells God in verse one:

And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared to me.

In other words, Moses can see no reason why the people would listen to him.  There’s no reason in his own mind why God would appear to him, so he can’t imagine that anyone else would believe that God had appeared to him.  Moses didn’t think anyone would believe that his call truly came from the Lord.

I think about that in my own life and about the way that my husband and I have felt called by God to homeschool.  Often, I don’t believe that other people will believe me if  I tell them I’m homeschooling because “God told me to.”  So, I come up with some other socially accept able reason to be homeschooling.  Ouch!  The truth hurts–even writing it down.  (For the record, if I haven’t been clear before, we homeschool because God told us to.)  We don’t believe that our callings are from God, so we find worldly evidence and worldly excuses for the things that we feel God would have us to do.

In verse two, God has an answer for Moses:

And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.

This is an awesome verse that I had always overlooked before.  Ginny Owens brings it out like this:

What an inspiring question.  I hear this question as, What have I given you to work with?  What unknowable power and ability do we possess in gifts and talents, great and small, given to us by the eternal?

We think we’re weak.  We think we’re too small and weak and have no skill for the work ahead.  God sees our skills.  God sees what’s in our hand.

You have a  certain said of God given talents and skills that you’ve built over the years.  When you’re called by God to do something, then you can find he’s often already equipped you for your calling.  You just didn’t know it yet.

I have an unquenchable love of learning.  It doesn’t matter if it’s literature, history, science or the Bible.  I love to learn new things.  I somehow ended up with a degree in education, even though I never really intended to be a teacher.  Both of these things prepare me perfectly for homeschooling my children.  I love to go with them on learning adventures, and I understand enough about child development to know what’s normal and what needs my (or professional) intervention.

Just yesterday, I spent some time with the children learning about an artist named Giotto who started creating artwork by using rocks to scratch drawings of sheet on other rocks.  That is a perfect example of using what’s in your hand.  Eventually another artist, Cimabue, saw some of his “scratch art” to took him on as a painting apprentice.

We don’t know where our talents may lead.  We only know that God uses the things that He brings into our lives to prepare us for the work that he has ahead of us.  When he calls us, we can look to “what’s in our hand” to find everything we need to fulfill his calling.


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