Moses was an elderly man, used to working alone with his animals. He spent much of his time in the desert with the hot sun beating down on his head. One day passed like the next. He thought that this was how his life would end. His life didn’t seem to have a compelling purpose. Was he content, or had he just given up?
Then God spoke to him. God was concerned with the same issue that concerned Moses. God wanted to deliver His people from their Egyptian oppressors, and He wanted Moses to be a part of that plan. God wanted to use a nobody like him, to be a somebody to others. Moses couldn’t even imagine doing any of the things that God mentioned. The only skill he had used for the past 40 years was leading a flock of animals here and there, making sure they were safe and had food and water, learning the terrain of the desert, and using his rod to guide them and keep them together. Surely God was mistaken. He wasn’t capable of doing such a great thing. He was just a common shepherd.
So he dared to argue with God. Who am I that you want me to do this? Who are you? They don’t even know you God? I don’t know how to speak eloquently? Can’t you find someone else more qualified? But God had another plan in mind. “What’s in your hand?” said the Lord. “A rod” he said. God said “Cast it on the ground.” When he did, it became a serpent. Then God told him to pick it up by it’s tail. When he did that, it became a rod again. God told him to use that rod that was in his hand to perform signs in front of the Egyptians. These signs would be proof that his message was from God and not man.
A rod: a gnarly piece of wood. For years he had leaned on it, herded sheep with it, used it to protect and discipline them. It was one of the few things he carried with him, a required tool of the trade. And suddenly to God it was the key to his calling. It wasn’t anything that others would think of as powerful. But now it was the “rod of God”, and it was instrumental as God used him to deliver his people out of Egypt, and usher them to the gateway of their promised land. The previous 40 years that he spent in the desert had been his training ground as he learned to lean on God’s wisdom and not his own.
Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who was interested in changing careers. His current and future careers were as different as night and day. We talked for some time about various strategies that would help him to break into his new field of interest. Then he began talking about the needs of his colleagues in the field in which he currently worked. After asking him several questions it became evident that there was an opportunity to apply some of his interests and skillsets in his future career area, to meet needs in his current career area. Like Moses’ rod, the key to his future was right in his hand.
So what is your “rod”? What do you already have in your hand that is your key to your calling? Maybe you think you lack the skills, abilities or opportunity to accomplish the dreams that keep flowing through the back of your mind. Maybe you lack the education, information and connections to even figure out how to begin. But the God who has placed the calling within you knows. The lifetime of experiences that seem unrelated to your future calling may instead be your preparation for it. He’s just teaching you not to place your faith in your own abilities, because He has a different way of making things happen. He has a miraculous means of setting you in places you didn’t realize you could attain. He’ll use the tools that you have in your hand, the skills and experience that he has placed within you to accomplish His will, and to fulfill your calling.