This thought has been burning in my mind and heart for weeks now. I honestly didn’t know if this phrase was in the Bible or not, but the question kept tumbling over and over in my brain. I think it is simply due to the phase of life that I’m in; at 34, I feel like I am a young teenager again, struggling to find my place. I’m a wife and mom of an almost-three-year-old amazing little boy. We want another child, but that hasn’t happened yet…so now what? I’ve been a music director for thirteen years and have recently felt a shifting in my call…but to what? Our family has recently made some decisions and some declarations that we feel God has led us to but…there is no bright light from heaven shining and showing us a clear-cut path. Lord…what do I do? If I had another child to consume my time, perhaps I would feel completely fulfilled (and completely busy) caring for our family and for our home. But right now it’s just my toddler and me, and though somewhat consuming, there is still time and energy that I often have leftover at the end of the day. If I’m being called to another ministry, Lord, what is it? How do I prepare? What will I be doing? If you’re preparing our family for something then, Lord, what IS it???
I don’t really know if this somewhat disjointed rambling makes sense to anyone else, but there is a constant pressing on my conscious and sub-conscious, ”what am I supposed to be doing?”
It turns out that phrase is in the Bible. In Exodus 4, Moses is having a conversation with God about his call. He’s got some doubts. Verses 1 and 2 say, “Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” Moses had a staff in hand….This same staff was probably one of the ones he had used for the last forty years in his job as a shepherd. Nothing special, right? But I see a lot here. For one thing, herding sheep was, no doubt, a skill that Moses had learned when he fled from Egypt. So he had a tool that he had picked up just minding his own business while doing his job. Second, that’s the very tool that God told Moses to use, though instead of herding sheep, it would now be a supernatural rod that God would use to do countless miracles through Moses. Thirdly, God didn’t give Moses the staff. It was something Moses already had and that he had learned to use. God then took it and used it for His much greater purpose.
I think the point is clear: when we know that God has called us, when we feel that inner-tugging and assurance that He is with us, but we don’t know specifically what we are yet to do, we……(wait for it)….. do whatever it is that we know how to do. Ecclesiastes 9:10 and Colossians 3:23 tell us that whatever our hands find to do, to do it with all of our might and as unto the Lord. I know you were hoping for a deep revelation that would answer all of your questions (I was, too). But that’s it. Work, do, be, learn, act….Do so until God shows you something different. And then you’ll be amazed at how he takes the skill you thought you were just perfecting for yourself and uses for great glory in His kingdom. What do you have in your hand? A pen? Then use it. A word of kindness? Speak it. Are you an artist? Then create and hone your craft. A musician? Be the best; work your hardest. Do you have great faith? Spread it, share it, speak a word. Are you a motivator of people? Encourage saints until He comes. Are you a skilled chef? Cook and share the love of Christ. Are you a busy mommy of little ones? Teach them the word and the love of God to the best of your ability.
We sometimes get messed up by our grandiose ideas of what we think “doing something for God” is, when really, I’m coming to realize, “what we do” for Him is a thousand tiny little things every single day. It’s how we live. And so, if you find yourself as I do, in an uncertain place, let’s resolve to become the very best shepherds and shepherdesses that we can possibly be so that we He does finally come to us with direction, we have something to show Him when He asks us, “what’s in your hand?”
[This post was originally published on September 15, 2015.]