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"What Is That In Your Hand?" (by Stephen Simpson)

Each year, FBC holds a Mission Conference. Our Mission Committee works hard to plan and organize this conference. One of their tasks is to choose a theme for the conference. This year’s theme is “What is that in Your Hand?” It is taken from Exodus 4:2.

The Lord said to him (Moses), “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” (ESV)

On the surface, this theme may appear unclear. I must admit that when I first heard the conference theme, I was confused. In the weeks since then, I have been thinking often of that simple question, “What is that in your hand?”

Hopefully, you are familiar with this passage in Exodus. In chapter 3, God speaks to Moses through the burning bush. God calls Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land.

Come, I will send you to Pharoah that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” (Ex. 3:10)

After this, Moses showers God with pessimism. Chapter 4 opens with one of these pessimistic statements,

They (the Israelites) will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘the Lord did not appear to you.'”

At this point, God asks a simple question, “What is that in your hand?” It was a simple question with a simple answer. Moses replied, “a staff.” This staff was an ordinary object. It was no golden scepter from Egypt. It was not the staff of Abraham or Isaac. It was the simple staff of a simple shepherd. It was what Moses had and so it was what God used.

Think about this. Moses carried his staff with him all the time. Most likely, you would have never seen Moses without his staff. Could it be that you and I also have a ‘staff’ that we carry with us wherever we go? Could it be that God wants to use the ‘staff’ in your hand just like He used the staff that was in Moses’ hand?

Now, few of us are shepherds. I do not know anybody who carries a literal wooden staff. But, I think we need to expand our thinking and consider the other things that we do carry around with us that might be considered a ‘staff.’ Consider the following:

  • Money – Many walk around with gobs of money in their bank account. Could it be that money is the ‘staff’ that God wants you to use? God told Moses to throw his staff on the ground. How might God want you to ‘throw your money on the ground?’ Perhaps your Money is “what is in your hand.”
       
  • Time – Do you have extra time in your schedule? How can you spend that extra time? Could you volunteer at the local pregnancy center? Maybe you could help cook meals for the FX kids. Perhaps you can provide transportation to others or simply go spend time visiting with a shut-in. Perhaps your Time is “what is in your hand.”
        
  • Knowledge – Are you an expert at anything? Do you have special skills that for you are very ordinary but for others might be very extraordinary? Maybe you are a doctor or an accountant. Maybe you are a lawyer or a chef. How can God use this specialized knowledge that you possess? Perhaps this Knowledge is “what is in your hand.”
        
  • Attitude – A positive attitude is rare and precious treasure. Do you have a positive attitude? Do you ooze optimism? Is your ‘glass’ always half full? Consider the ways you can share this attitude. Optimism is contagious. Spread it around. Perhaps your attitude is “what is in your hand.”
        
  • Words – Words are powerful. Are you talented with words? Words can be used in cards, phone calls, visits, emails, and more. Words can do so many wonderful things. Not everyone can use words effectively. But, maybe you can. Perhaps your words are “what is in your hand.”
       

So, what is that in your hand? Find out. There is something there. Your hands are not empty. Use whatever ‘staff’ is in your hand to display the power and glory of God to the world.

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