A Final Thought for 2018

“What’s that in your hand?” This is the question that the Lord asked Moses at the beginning of the fourth chapter of Exodus.  Now the Lord, the I AM, had already laid out the plan in the previous chapter of how he would use Moses to help deliver the children of Israel out of slavery. However, Moses made repeated attempts to remove himself from the process by making excuses. Moses pleaded with the Lord on his own behalf. “They won’t believe me or take me seriously, I can’t speak, I stutter, they may try to kill me. “I am sure we would all agree that these are valid concerns but none of this information was lost on the Lord.

This time of year brings about a number of emotions for me. I enjoy this season but I routinely get into a bit of an anxiety laden rut about the things that I did not accomplish during the year. I’m a deep thinker and sometimes I get lost in my own analytics. How did an entire year pass me by? Why did it feel like I faced one barrier after another this year? After much reflection I realized that I had sabotaged my own efforts 1. I hadn’t entrusted the Lord with my goals entirely because to me, they were simple. Big mistake! And 2. I realized that my “go-to” response to everything was, “I don’t have.”

1. I don’t have enough time
2. I don’t have enough energy
3. I don’t have enough money
4. I don’t have enough skill, knowledge, ability
5. I don’t have what this person or that person has

What was in Moses hand at the time that the Lord questioned him? A staff. The Lord went on to perform signs and wonders with that staff and he instructed Moses to use the staff when he went before Pharaoh. The Lord already knew what was in Moses’ hand. He wanted Moses to acknowledge that the staff, an inanimate object, could be used as an instrument in the plan of God to set the children of Israel free b It wasn’t about the staff. The staff had already been ordained by God. It was about Moses gaining an awareness of who God was (and still is) despite his perceived flaws and human frailty.

So, what’s in your hand? Don’t allow the ticking of the clock make you feel that you’ve failed in some way because of what you did not accomplish this year. If you are still breathing, you have time to give whatever is in your hands over to the Lord. Let Him guide you, direct you, speak to you, speak for you, and make your pathway clear.

Stop giving into your own set of excuses. And let’s get clear on the fact that some of the things in our hands need to be discarded of completely. Negative thinking, unrealistic expectations, doubt, fear, worry, laziness, failure to be a good steward of any and all resources, indecision, to name a few. I deal with all of these at times but now I realize that I have to let go and open up my hands as a sign of surrender to the one who made me and knows ALL about me. I want to encourage you to do the same.

Let’s purpose to end 2018 in anticipation of what God can do once we become a part of our own process.

Here’s to 2019!