“And the LORD said unto him [Moses], What is that in thine hand?” (Exo.4:2) “And he [Jesus] asked them, How many loaves have ye?” (Mark 8:5)
God would rather work with what you’ve got than start from scratch. He’d sooner use the rod in Moses’ hand than drop down a magic wand from the skies; and the seven loaves on hand will work just as well as manna fallen from Heaven. God has already proven He can begin with nothing and create a universe. Now, it would seem, He delights in doing the supernatural through ordinary things…and ordinary people. And in the case of the latter, He asks first, “What have you got to work with?”
That’s a good question, one we need to be able to answer. I’ve noticed through the years, though, sometimes people either give the wrong answer, or else they just mumble, “I don’t know.” I’ve heard individuals (obviously uncomfortable) struggling through a solo on Sunday morning, who might sooner have shown their true mettle greeting newcomers at the church door, making each one feel perfectly at home. On the other hand, I’ve sat by others in church who sang lustily and capably, but who would never think of sharing their talent publicly. Why do Christians so often miss the mark when it comes to finding God’s overarching will for their lives? Three reasons, I think.
1) They fail to see the supernatural working though the natural. They are conscious of God in the “elders of the church” and the “anointing with oil,” but they sometimes forget to see the hand of God working through a Dr. Luke. They marvel when a naturally nervous person suddenly becomes calm in a crisis; but they take for granted the innate, unflagging gift in the one whose demeanor always reflects quiet stability.
2) They fail to see their own natural gifts. This is the obvious result of the first problem. When you’re always expecting something that supersedes your natural abilities and inclinations, you become blind to the obvious. “I know I can have a bathroom looking spotless while others are still looking for the “Scrubbin’ Bubbles,” but what’s that got to do with God?” Plenty. How impressed do you think a visitor to your church is going to be with a soloist with perfect pitch, or a preacher with perfect diction, if the bathroom is a perfect mess?
3) They fail to see the great potential in everyday things. Who would have thought a beat-up old stick could produce plagues and part waters? And who would have thought seven loaves and a few fish could satisfy the hunger of four thousand people? Well, who would think that a master bathroom cleaner, an unschooled “child psychologist,” an unobtrusive organizer, a boisterous life-of-the-party, or a quiet comforter, could all be used to rescue souls, build a church, and further a Kingdom? God would. And if you and I agree with Him and believe that everyday, ordinary people with natural gifts and abilities can, with the touch of God, produce supernatural results, we can prove it.
Now then, “What is that is thine hand?” And “How many loaves have ye?
Hey, I’m talking to you!