A Pastor's Blog

What’s In Your Hand??

I remember as a young boy, how much I enjoyed watching magicians perform their magic tricks. One of my favorite tricks was where they would put something in their hands and with a flick of their wrist, whatever they had in their hands would suddenly be gone or something else would appear in their hands. I remembered thinking how amazing that was. I thought if I could do that trick I would put a penny in my hand and turn it into a silver dollar (we had a lot of them back in my days) so I could go and buy a lot of candy or toys. It wasn’t very long that I realized that it was all a trick and that no one could actually change what they had in their hand into something else or make it suddenly disappear.

As I grew older I would notice there were those who seemed to have what was called the ‘Midas Touch’ able to change whatever they seemed to touch with their hands into gold. For the most part, most of us don’t see what we have in our hands; or our abilities, as amounting to very much if anything at all, not able to change anything at all, much less into gold, but is that true?

There is an account found in Exodus 3, 4 that speaks of the time when the Lord placed what seemed like an impossible task on a man named Moses. We find Moses has a ‘burning bush experience’ where the Lord speaks to him and gives him what seems like an impossible task to do. The Lord tells Moses to assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob appeared to me and said, I have watched over you and seen what was done to you in Egypt. And I have promised to bring you out of your misery in Egypt and bring you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizitties, Hivitties, and Jebusites (wow, that’s a bunch of Ites) – a land flowing with  milk and honey.’ 

The Lord goes on to tell Moses some pretty amazing things He was about to do through Moses and to the Israelites. Yet in Exodus 4 we read where Moses is not amazed by all the things the Lord was about to do through him; instead Moses was more concerned that the Israelites would not believe that God had actually appeared to him. The Lord doesn’t give Moses a long explanation as to how all of this would come about. Instead, the Lord asks Moses a question that would seem to most of us as a bit strange; “What is that in your hand? A staff, Moses replies”  Most commentators believe what Moses had in his hand was what a shepherd would use to take care of his sheep. The bottom line is that Moses only had a piece of wood in his hand; not a beautiful sword, a huge shield, or anything else we would see as being crucial to accomplish this great task; just a piece of wood!! The success of Moses mission did not depend on the piece of wood he had in his hand. Instead it would be a constant reminder to Moses that it was the Lord who was working everything out and without the Lord, Moses could accomplish nothing.

There are many today in the church who feel because they have no gifting of any sort they feel as being worth much to the Lord’s work being accomplished in their life or the life of their church so they don’t do anything and let me tell you today, that is a bold-faced lie!! All of us have a mouth and tongue and with them we can speak kind words to others to encourage them. Proverbs 12:25 “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Speaking as pastor, I can’t tell you how many times I was lifted up as people shared a kind word of encouragement with me. I ask you, how many times have you told your pastor how much you appreciate him and the messages he brings week after week? That also goes both ways. Pastors and leaders need to also be encouraging those who labor in the trenches as to how blessed they are is to have such committed people serving the church.

Galatians 6:1a Brothers, (Paul is talking to you and me my friend) if someone is caught in a sin, you who arespiritual’ should restore him gently.” Sadly how many times have I seen the exact opposite take place in the body of Christ by those who are so-called ‘spiritual’. Paul gives some pretty bold instructions to the body of Christ in 2 Corinthians 13:12 “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” In the early times a kiss was seen as a token of peace, friendship and brotherly love and it was frequently seen used among all Christians. Today if we go out of our way to hug someone in the church body we think we’ve done something huge. A kiss of brotherly love goes a long way.

The point of the matter is that it is not about whether we have some type of great gifting that makes us beneficial to the Lord’s work. Everyone of us can do something and often it is the little things, a smile, a kind word, a hug, restoration, a helping hand, complete support, to mention a few, that bring the greatest changes in people and that also furthers the work of God. So you ask, what’s in your hand my friend; more than you know 🙂

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