When God gave Moses his job description, Moses gave God all sorts of excellent excuses why it was a bad idea. To help Moses have the confidence to move forward, God asked him an incredibly important question, “What is in your hand?”

Moses’ hand held a staff. We don’t know when he acquired his staff. He may have used it as he crossed the desert. He may have found it as he watched the sheep and saw that it would be helpful in navigating rocky terrain, keeping sheep on the path, or for fighting wild animals who attacked the sheep. Did he cut it from a tree because he knew he’d need it? Did God place it on a path, then lead him to it….like a present he wouldn’t really appreciate until he grew up some more? Is this one Moses has used for years, or is it a new one? Did he carve it as he watched the sheep? Had he smoothed it where his hand would grip it?

Because Moses trusted God with what was in his hand, God took it, changed it, and gave it back to him. God used it to give Moses confidence and to get Pharaoh’s attention….in the throne room and to turn the Nile red. Later it will bring victory on the battlefield and water from a rock. God took what Moses had and what he feared, and he challenged Moses to step out of his comfort zone and make a difference. When Moses first clutched that staff that had been a snake, he could not even fathom the ten plagues or the parting of the Red Sea. That staff was both a symbol of what Moses was, and what he would become.

What is in your hand? It may not be your talent or your strength. It may be your weakness or vulnerability. It may be what comes easily or naturally to you, but not to others. It may not seem like much to you, or it may seem like everything you have. It may be the pain of your past meeting the need of someone in your present. It may be the consistency of your testimony in the life of someone who has brought you pain or frustration or someone you don’t even know is watching.

If you can fill in this blank, there is a problem. “I’ll obey as long as he doesn’t ask……” Anything we have: talent, strength, passion – will never reach its full potential until we give it to God. Before God can work through you, he will have to work in you. What does he want from you so that he can take it, change it, and give it back to you with new purpose? Do you need his vision for what it can become or his courage to trust him to use it…for your good and his glory?

 The things that you hold so tightly in your hand and your heart, that are so very, very precious to you – you have no control over them. They are only safe in the hand of God. Release them into God’s hand; let them go, throw them, and see how he changes them, nurtures and grows them in ways you never considered. Surrender them to him – manipulate, worry, obsess over them no more – watch how he transforms what is in your hand into something new that will give you a glimpse of his glory, of his power.