“What is that in thine hand?”
“Cast in on the ground.”
What must Moses have thought? When the one thing he had to defend himself turned into a snake? That could bite him?
Betrayal? Confusion? Or did he breathe deep and look to the One in the bush who had always been the One who really protected him, even as a babe in the bulrush basket?
What is that in my hand?
What am I holding onto for dear life, certain that this one thing is going to get me wherever it is I’m going? Is it my writing? My art? My marriage? My parenthood? My home? My friends? My dorky humor?
I have a feeling whatever it is has the potential to become the very thing I’m afraid of.
My writing, which I like to think has the potential to protect me from dying a useless wretch having helped no one ever, actually can turn into a weapon against me. Like a snake whispering sweet nothings, it can fill my head with lies that poison my love for others as I imagine I’m some gift to mankind.Or it can make me spew out crazy garbage that will reveal how little I actually know.
Or my marriage, which I like to think has the potential to protect me from loneliness, yet it can turn into a weapon against me. Like a snake whispering sweet nothings, those lies pierce my mind telling me I’m unloved…alone…unappreciated. Lies, lies, lies. And all from the thing I thought would save me.
Or my friendships, which I like to think have the potential to protect me from being a nobody, yet they can be turned into a weapon against me as I listen to lies about this friend or that who happened to disagree with me. Lies, lies hissing that my friends are enemies. Smiles laced with imagined poison from the ones I thought were my defenders.
Knowing that my weapon can be used against me makes me want to grip that whatever-it-is in my hand tighter. Hold it back. Don’t let anything happen to it.
That blank paper may be empty, but at least I haven’t made a fool of myself drawing something stupid on it.
That blog post may be late, but at least if I haven’t written anything I haven’t gotten it wrong.
My home may be chaos, but if I ignore it I won’t get angry when I clean it and it’s dirty in thirty minutes.
My marriage may be cold (it’s not:), but at least I haven’t made a fool of myself telling him how I feel.
That child may be untaught and undisciplined, but at least I haven’t warped him. Apps can teach them better than I can anyway. Right? Right? (guilty facepalm)
My friend may not have heard from me in three years, but at least the last time we spoke we were on good terms. Nothing ventured, nothing lost, right? …Right?
What did Moses do? He was probably shocked when his obedience made the rod turn into a snake.
But he obeyed.
And the rod turned into a snake.
And what did God say?
Actually, “Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail.”
By the tail.
Defy all logic, and take it by the tail.
The snake did not bite him.
God controlled the power of the snake. It would return again to gobble the evil magicians’ snakes.
Safety is of the Lord. Not in the power of the stick. Or whatever it is in my hand. Or yours.
Let’s wield our gifts with confidence as God directs us to. Yes, there’s danger in using our gifts. But there’s no terror. The One who protects me is not in my hand.
I am in His.
Thanks to Jesus.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.
How have you been afraid to use whatever’s in your hand? I was afraid to write this post. May God use it. May He use you!