Wednesday, June 17, 2015

"What's That In Your Hand?"

God can do anything, including everything that looks impossible for us -- like creating the universe from nothing, to start with! What's interesting is that he has continued to do the impossible, but now he's also doing it through
people just like you and me. Not that he needs our help, but he loves us and wants to involve us. Take for example, Moses. In a famous scene in Exodus 3, Moses is drawn near to God (in the burning bush), and the Lord proceeds to tell him to go rescue Israel from Egypt with God's help. Moses is a bit skeptical that anyone will believe him, so the Lord prepares to give him a sign.

In Exodus 4:2, he says to Moses, "What is that in your hand?" Moses is holding his wooden shepherd's staff, and the Lord tells him to throw it down, and when he does it becomes a poisonous snake. A simple staff, released from Moses' hand, becomes a symbol of God's power and his grace as he releases Israel from slavery. God used what Moses had available, to do something miraculous and world-changing.

About 1,500 years later, Jesus told the disciples, "You give these 4,000 people something to eat" (Mark 8:1-10). Yeah, right. With what? They only had seven little loaves of bread and a few small fish. But they handed them over, Jesus prayed over them and they were sufficient. There was even more left over than they had started with. God used what the disciples had available, to do something miraculous and life-changing for them all.

The Lord continues to ask us to work alongside him, rather than doing his work in the world alone. Not that he needs our help, but he loves us and wants to involve us. Today, the Holy Spirit is drawing all people everywhere nearer to Jesus (even if we can't see his invisible work), but he isn't doing it alone. He asks us to join him, every day wherever we are, because wherever we are, the Spirit is also there, and the Spirit is always working, just like Jesus (John 5:17).

What's that in your hand? Maybe it's an extra hour here and there that would help prepare something your church is working on. Maybe it's some extra funds that could fill a need for someone, or finance a project that supports the Gospel. Maybe it's extra time in prayer, or time to study a lesson for children. Maybe it's a love for kids or another kind of people whom the Holy Spirit is showing the love of the Trinity -- through you. Whatever it is, are you willing to hand it over? Will you let the Lord create a miracle out of whatever small-looking thing you have to give him? I think you'll be surprised, even shocked, at how much is accomplished through your gift.

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