If my computer mouse suddenly turned into the real rodent type, I think I’d jump somewhat! And if my draught excluder turned into a real reptile snake, I’m certain I’d be running! What a scary thought. (The snake, that is, not me running!) Poor Moses! (Exodus 4:2-5) One minute it was business as usual – he was a shepherd holding onto his staff – and the next minute that so familiar piece of equipage was writhing round somewhat threateningly. Of course he ran! Wouldn’t you?
God wanted to show Moses a piece of his power. But Moses was not used to it, and it all looked very alarming. It can be alarming when God takes the everyday things of our humdrum existences and transforms them into something amazing. The comfort zone of the ‘known’ disappears, and security disappears out of the window. Some years ago there was a hue and cry when people found their tooth fillings had turned to gold during Christian meetings. Churches have split over spiritual gifts being exercised; Christians have lost their jobs for offering to pray for healing. I remember myself feeling terrified the first time I saw people falling over under the power of the Holy Spirit. God’s power is not comfortable!
So what is it that I have in my hand that God wants to use powerfully? Have I the courage to release it to him, and allow him free rein in my life, with my belongings? But supposing I do find it just too challenging, and panic, and run away…what then? Will God give up on me and pass the job onto someone else? Well, he told Moses to go and pick up the snake by its tail. Grab it.
Moses had a choice. He could leave that snake where it was to wander off, and go back to being a shepherd, and forever after wonder what he’d missed out on; or he could obey God and pick it up. It does take guts to open ourselves up to God’s power, but that’s got to be better than a lifetime of regrets over what I’ve missed out on.
What’s in your hand?