Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What's In Your Hand?

In Exodus 4, God and Moses are having a discussion.  Well, rather, God is telling Moses to go and Moses is coming up with all the reasons why he is not equipped.  God says to Moses, "What's that in your hand? … Use that!" 

What's in your hand?

I have been giving a lot of thought to that over the past week.  Ask yourself that question - "What is in YOUR hand"?  

Everyone of us is wired a certain way.  Psalm 139 tells us that we were woven together in the secret place … that God's eyes saw our unformed body and that all our days were written in his book before one of them came to be.  We were made ON PURPOSE FOR A PURPOSE.  And here is the thing.  Often, we don't give credit to that which is in our hand, and often we don't use that for God's glory because we are overfamiliar with it and we discount it.  We don't value what it is that God has placed in us.

The thing is, if we use what is in our hand - the gifts and abilities that God has given us; if we surrender our own plans and purposes to those of God; if we look to use what is in our hand to bless others, it can be an incredible powerful, beautiful thing.  We can make our world a different place - little things and big things.  It is not ours to worry about how they will be useful, just sow them out as seeds and see what happens. 

Here are a couple of examples of exactly that, to get you thinking.  When I was in gorilla trekking in Uganda last year, Jenny and I visited several community projects.  Perhaps my favourite one was "Ride 4 A Woman", in Buhoma, near the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.  This group of women are doing some awesome things.  Their initial project didn't take off the way they wanted, but an Australian quilter came through one day and showed them how to quilt.  These ladies now make the most incredible handmade quilted products, using all african fabrics.  That quilter took something everyday that she could do, gave it away by teaching others, and is changing countless lives of women and their families.  She could have said, "well I am not a nurse, a doctor, or a teacher.  What difference can i make?"  Instead, she offered up the little she had.  It's like the loaves and fishes in John 6.  Jesus took the simple things a young boy offered, multiplied them and fed a huge hungry crowd.  This is the amazing thing that can happen, when we take what is in our hand and offer it to God, giving it away.

Another example.  Simplicity itself.  I love photography.  I offered to take pictures in North Korea when I was up there on a medical aid trip.  The photos I took, whilst I didn't think were anything amazing, were exactly the type of pics the organisation needed.  People photography is not even my strength, but I understood light, angles and prayed to capture the moments.   I was invited back to take pictures again because they were so happy with them.  Add to that, I have taken on the media and the blogging and video making for our fundraising to support this organisation.  Its time consuming, but I can blog, I can use words to connect and I love to create with video.  Those photos and videos have been used to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for MDR TB treatment.  A simple thing.  Using the little thing in my hand, magnified by God, changes lives.

Another simple one.  Words is something I can do.  This past week, I have taken the time to give back in the form of words with the intention of blessing.  I have been intentional and asked God to help me write in a way that is truthful and encouraging - a way that will lift up.  I don't know the impact of those, but I do know that I wanted to give them away to be a blessing as I had been blessed.

Yet another.  I have a friend who is amazing at hospitality.  She loves to cook … is a chef, and does hospitality at an amazing level.  It's just a normal thing for her - something she loves to do.  She has used this gift to bless many people.  She has also put up multiple brunches each year for the past few years in our silent auction for our TB care centre fundraising.  Something simple, multiplied, is changing lives in North Korea.

A final example.  I have a friend who has been doing cross fit and bootcamp coaching here on a campus for the past couple of years.  Again something simple.  A trainer.  He was an awesome trainer, but in the way that we do, we could just say, well its just training.  But it wasn't.  He has just left us and the impact that he has had in this community has been huge.  For kids and adults alike.  Lives have been changed and transformed.  Did he try to do that?  No … he used what was in his hand and just functioned in who he was wired to be as a person to build people.  And for some of us it was life changing.  God multiplies.

Don't discount or undervalue the things that are in your hand.  A little boy rocked up to Jesus with 5 loaves and two fishes.  He could have been laughed out … "Really?  There are 5000 hungry people here and you bring us 5 loaves and 2 fishes?  Really?"  But he gave away what he had, and he trusted God to do the work with his offering.  What's in your hand?  Get intentional about giving it away.  Sow it out there and see what God can do!


Jennifer Underwood said...

Thanks Sarah. This was what I needed to hear today.

Patti Swanson said...

I guess our gifts seem so small because they come so naturally to us. Thanks for reminding me that I can bless people by doing something I view as such a simple thing.