WHAT DO WE HAVE RIGHT NOW TO USE TO FURTHER GOD’S KINGDOM?
Exodus 4:1-5 (NIV) “Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”
2 Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A staff,” he replied.
3 The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it.4 Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. 5 “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”
At a recent Christian Writers Conference Steve and I attended, the above verses were used as the basis for a keynote address we heard by Eva Marie Everson. In that context, Ms. Everson was reminding us of both the power and responsibility we have as writers to use our “pens” (writing tools — which are probably computer keyboards in most cases) carefully, wisely and with excellence.
Moses used every imaginable excuse to try to talk God out of choosing him to deliver the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt. But, for every excuse, God had a ready answer. I think God is still asking us that same question — “WHAT IS THAT IN YOUR HAND?” What do I have that I can use to show God to a lost world?
In my case, and very likely in your case as well, the answer to that question has changed as my life circumstances have changed.
I remember when my answer would have been: “A baby. A diaper. A spoon to use while I feed my child. A soft blanket for snuggling.”
From high school days until about 18 years ago, the answer I thought God wanted to hear was: “The black and white keys of the piano, organ or synthesizer I was playing at the time.” Or maybe He wanted me to say, “A gradebook. My lesson plans. Rhythm instruments. Music books,” during the years I was teaching public school.
During our missionary years, I was likely to answer, “My Spanish language book, my Spanish Bible, my computer for organizing volunteer groups and typing newsletters to prayer partners. Pots, pans, dishes, produce from the market used in preparing meals for our many guests.”
But, I believe God is still asking — “Connie, what are you holding in your hand NOW that I can use to demonstrate My power, My presence, My love to those you come in contact with?”
I have a home to share with family, friends and people I’ve yet to meet.
I have a refrigerator and pantry full of groceries to serve those who come as guests or to share with people in need.
I have a listening ear and a probing nature. I want to hear another person share what is on his/her heart and maybe make their burdens seem a little bit lighter.
I have a marriage that has been blessed by God and can hopefully be used as a source of experience and encouragement to others.
I have a quiver full of grandchildren to love, nurture and encourage to go out into the world and be all that God intends for them to be. As a bonus, over half of the grands live close enough that I can be their piano teacher if they have an interest.
I have a lifetime full of Bible knowledge that I can pour into anyone who will listen.
I have a Clipboard of Fun, as it has been dubbed by friends and family members. That’s their way of acknowledging my intense desire to devise and implement a plan. This comes in mighty handy in the weeks leading up to Cousins Camp. And, yes, there is a literal clipboard, given to me by some friends who know me well.
I have this blog with the purpose of informing, inspiring, confronting, challenging and igniting a spark of interest.
So, rather than lamenting the fact that my children are grown and independent now or feeling wistful that I’m no longer helping to lead worship by playing a keyboard instrument, I am called to use what I have NOW with Kingdom purposes in mind.
How would YOU answer God’s question? What are you holding in YOUR hand?