One of the most famous stories in the Bible, if we judge that by how often it is referred to or replicated, is the story of Moses in the wilderness and his encounter with the Burning Bush. Moses escapes from Egypt to save his life and the once Prince of Egypt takes up a new occupation as a common shepherd. God meets him in the wilderness in the form of a burning bush and says, “I’m going to use you to release my people from slavery.” Moses gives God every good reason why God must be mistaken, but God seems pretty convinced that He really does want to use Moses. Finally Moses agrees to go, but he asks this question, “What if they don’t believe me or listen to me?”
God answers Moses question with another question, “What is that in your hand?”
Moses holds in his hand his staff. It is a long piece of wood that he uses to tend his flocks; the sign of his profession and a reminder that he is no longer a prince. Moses must have seen his staff as a reminder that he ran away, a symbol that he was nothing now. God says, “I’ll use that.”
Moses walks back to Egypt to talk to an unruly tyrant king with the commission from a God the Pharaoh doesn’t even believe in to let his slaves go free. Moses walks into town dressed like a shepherd, with the dust of his trek in his beard, holding a staff which says I am a nomadic shepherd man.
God says I’m going use the staff, use your normalness in an abnormal way; I’m going to work extraordinary through your ordinary, wonders through your commonplace.
God wants to use you. He wants to use so that others can know His message of setting people free. Yet, so often we look at our own normalness and think we could never be used by God. In fact, God wants to use that which is in your hand, your profession, your possessions, even your past for his wonders.
What’s in your hand?