“Then the Lord asked him, ‘What is that in your hand?’ ‘A shepherd’s staff,‘ Moses replied» (Exodus 4:2).
I can imagine Jochebed meticulously preparing the little basket where she would place her son. She must have been very skillful and detailed, because she placed her greatest treasure in the Nile River and had to make sure he was well protected. That day, as they saw her walk by in a hurry, people may have thought she was carrying a mere basket in her hands, not knowing freedom from slavery lay within.
Years later, God had to contend with a Moses who had lost all confidence in himself, who feared Pharaoh’s reaction and doubted being successful with the task of deliverance the Lord had entrusted him with. In His sovereign patience, God gave him a couple of demonstrations of his prevailing power and invited him to test with his own hands what could be accomplished through Him.
«What is that in your hand?)’ God asked him. He had to become aware of his most rudimentary possession. In the past he might have held the reins of the most spirited horses in the biggest empire in his hands; and he might have been promised he would also one day hold the scepter of the Egyptian Empire. Now his hands held a disobedient sheep and a humble shepherd ‘s staff, which he would later use to perform unforgettable wonders.
The object itself might lack value, but directed by God it can open that Red Sea that seems so hard for you to cross (Exodus 14:16), it can help you quench the thirst of those around you (17:5), or accompany you as you intercede for your loved ones (17:9).
Ellen White says, «A man will gain power and efficiency as he accepts the responsibilities that God places upon him, and with his whole soul seeks to qualify himself to bear them aright» (Patriarchs and Prophets, ch. 22, p. 255).
What is that in your hand? Remember God can use or transform it into a blessing. Just as he used a staff to inspire trust in Moses and then awaken admiration and wonder in a heathen nation, He can use anything to remind you of His presence, power and purpose for your life.
He used Moses’s hands to write the first chapters of this world ‘s history and can use your life to write the last ones.