"A shepherd's staff," Moses replied.
Why did the Lord ask Moses what was in his hand? Couldn't the Lord see the staff?
Now, let's jump ahead to the time of Jesus. In Mark 6:30-44 is the story of the feeding of the five thousand, and in Mark 8:1-10 is the story of the feeding of the four thousand. In both these stories, Jesus asked the disciples the same question that Moses was asked.
"What do you have?"
Why did Jesus ask?
It wasn't for the benefit of the Lord that the question was asked of Moses and the disciples, it was for the humans to see what God could do with what was at hand.
I don't know why I didn't ever see this before, but that is exactly what is so wonderful about God's Word. He doesn't show us all the mysteries in the Bible all at once. He tailors what we need at the exact right time we need it.
This morning I was praying about our financial situation. It's tough right now, but I acknowledged to the Lord that I knew he provided with the feeding of the five and then the four thousand (and remember, that was not a count including the women and children that were there as well). As I prayed, I heard the Holy Spirit remind me that Jesus asked the disciples what they already had.
As I pondered this three time repetition of the same question, I began to see what the Lord was telling me. "Coleen," he whispered, "What do you have in your hand?"
"A camera, a keyboard, time (because I don't have a job and I can't drive right now)."
So, I began to change my prayer from "Lord, please provide," to "Lord, show John and me how to use what we have in our hands for your glory."
In spite of the cold weather, I got warm all over. It's exciting to know the Lord has spoken to me and it's exciting to see how He is going to answer this prayer. What do I have in my hand? What I have in my hand is pitifully inadequate…
…until the Lord puts HIS hand on it.
Do we know the road ahead? No, but that simple staff, and those few bread and fish were expanded to be exactly what the Lord used to meet the impossibilities Moses and the disciples faced. God is able to meet our needs according to His riches in heaven, not according to what we have.
And just as the Lord asked me, I am now asking my readers:
What do you have in your hand?
Let's watch and see how the Lord will answer our needs with the simple, inadequacies in our hands. Look me up in heaven when you get there. I want to hear you tell me how the Lord worked in your life.
"This is what the Lord says to (all who trust Him), 'It is not by might or by power but by My Spirit,' says the Lord of Heaven's Armies, 'nothing, not even a mighty mountain will stand in (their) way.'" Zechariah 4:6
"Be strong and of good courage! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you." Deuteronomy 31:6