What is That in Your Hand?

When Moses met God in the desert, Moses offered every excuse for why he was not the right person to
free God’s people from slavery. Finally, God asked Moses what he had in his hand. “A staff,” Moses
replied. God turned it into a serpent—and then turned it back into a staff. Moses’ only resource became
the tool God used to convince the Israelites that Moses came with God’s authority (Exodus 4: 30 – 31).
Moses did not have much, but when he placed what he had at God’s service it was enough to do the job.
I think Christians today often feel like Moses. Like the one whom God would ultimately use to liberate the
Israelites, we believe we don’t bring much to the table. “Surely God can find smarter, wealthier, stronger,
more resourceful people to accomplish His purposes,” we reason. But then God looks at us and asks,
“what do you have there?”

A few weeks ago, Chaplain Rick Johnson, who ministers to juvenile offenders here in Orange County,
called me and asked for help. A young man who spoke no English wanted to talk with a chaplain. Rick
asked me if I would join him for those meetings and do the translating.
What did Chaplain Rick have in his hand? My phone number. What did I have in my hand? Nothing but
my knowledge of Spanish. But that was enough for God to do what he wanted to do in the life of our
young, detained friend. Over the next weeks, we read Scripture together with our young friend, unpacked
it, and left him each time with reading assignments. He devoured the Scriptures, memorized a truckload
of verses and in little time surrendered his life to Jesus!

Jesus does not need people with PhDs in order to make disciples. He simply needs willing messengers.
Messengers with a staff. Or knowledge of a second language. Or the gift of helps. Or a lawn mower. Or
time to visit a neighbor in the hospital. Or 30 minutes to prayer walk their neighborhood once a week.
Then God takes over, conversations begin, and the good news eventually captures another heart.
What is that in your hand?

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