Then the Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand?” A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied. Exodus 4:2 NLT
Throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period, I found this Scripture so striking when I was overwhelmed by the uncertainty, mostly because of how Moses had the tool that God would use for their freedom, all along. It was an item that Moses used in his everyday life. Moses needed God to make a way in the midst of uncertainty and change, and God did just that. He led and guided Moses, using his shepherd’s staff to turn the sea that looked detrimental, into a passageway to the next season of Moses’ destiny. I’ve learned to embrace moments that are similarly scary as I’ve found that some of the scariest moments often lead to God-glorifying moments and seasons.
Question is, what do we do with this profound knowledge – that our glorious God can use what we see as the mundane, for His extraordinary purpose, and is committed to seeing us through, and showing us what our next move is. I think that we often complicate this in expectation of Him using concepts that are foreign to us, and end up overlooking how He’s always ready and willing to use “ordinary” to propel us to the next season.
In this time of having to be strategic in the face if uncertainty, being resourceful when it comes to taking care of home, pivot in our businesses as we change our business models, or respond to justified convictions of the need for us to play our roles in protecting and providing for the poor, and vulnerable in our communities, we could find ourselves anxious and overwhelmed.
But instead of going that route, we could choose to reiterate God’s question to Moses in our own lives. Instead of feeling daunted, helpless, and hopeless, we can remind ourselves that nothing is too small for God to use for His glory.
So, what’s in your hand, friend?
All those gifts you possess
Your keenness for collaboration
Your design skills and ability to make things beautiful
Your creative mind and sharp eye for detail
Your ability to connect people and thrive in teams
Your zeal and passion for serving
Your fervent prayers
Your ability to weave beautiful words together
Your natural knack for creating efficient systems
Your administrative abilities
Your mathematical ability
Your mind-blowing ability to learn and adapt
I could go on and on, none of these are insignificant to God. Take stock of what it is in your hand today, and see how our faithful God will honor you as He shows you that even the scary moments are part of the story for His glory.
One more encouraging aspect of this pivotal Scripture is the fact that Moses was communicating with God, and he listened to what his kind, faithful Father was saying about how He was going to take them to their next season. And although God speaks to all of us in different ways, I’ve often found, myself caught up in the chaos and stress of the day, and unintentionally not prioritizing dialogue with God.
But fortunately for us, there are a few practical ways of listening out for His sweet voice, and outwork the instructions as they settle in your spirit:
Psalm 37:7 says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.” As tempting as it may be sometimes, refuse to question how and why the next person seems to be thriving, that will only cultivate envy and distract you from your own journey.
“He causes us to remember His wonderful works. How gracious and merciful is our Lord! He gives food to those who fear Him; He always remembers His covenant” (Psalms 111:4-5 NLT).
A heart-posture of gratitude and remembrance of how God has taken care of you before will help combat the fear of failure as you rest in His promise of a better future for you.
Habakkuk 2:1 says, “I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost. There I will wait to see what the Lord says about my complaint.” When you make your requests known to God with prayers, petitions, and thanksgiving, and when you ask Him to show you the hidden and unsearchable things that He promises to show us, be attentive for His response to your prayers.
And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak,
your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10 NLT).
Be ready to respond appropriately when God speaks.
“Take delight in the Lord and He will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you
do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you” (Psalm 37:4-5).
My favorite thing about this Scripture is that there’s an order. You delight yourself in Him, and He does the rest. This is a sure promise, with no maybes. The alignment of your desires with His plans happens in the process of you delighting yourself in Him.
Remember the words of Joshua 1:9: “This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” When you realize how just how the big the job or dream might be, don’t shrink back in fear. God has not called you to live a small life. Our lives are meant to glorify Him, and there is nothing small about our God.
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand” (Zechariah 4:10).
You don’t need to stay in a place of discouragement. God is with you and He can take your faithfulness in the ordinary, and use that for His extraordinary purpose for your life. If you find yourself anxious or overwhelmed: remember, be attentive, be alert, trust Him, make your move when He prompts you to, and don’t be discouraged by small starts. He is your ever-present help, so bring what’s in your hand, and He’ll do the rest. He did it with a boy that gave him a few pieces of bread and fish, and another boy who was facing a giant, and happened to have a few stones with him. God’s track record of showing up speaks for itself. So ask yourself today, what’s in your hand?
Sunny Tembani is a South African writer, with a trailblazing full-time vocation in the corporate world as a Group PR Manager. She actively works towards and dreams of a world where all girls have full access to education, and where women unashamedly have a voice. She is committed to helping women discover the leader in them and shine their bright light in the marketplace. You can get a better glimpse of Sunny by following her on Instagram.