February 24, 2017

Exodus 4:2 Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A staff,” he replied.

God’s provision is abundant, but all too often we fail to recognize it. It had probably never occurred to Moses that God had provided the staff in his hand, and he had certainly never thought of it as a miraculous tool, but in God’s economy, that’s exactly what it was, being used for some notable miracles over the years. In verse 11 the Lord points out that even the parts of our body are gifts from Him, though we hardly ever think of them that way. Would we not make better use of all we have if we recognized that it comes from God? We are experts at taking things for granted, and that deprives us of so much. One of the delights of having babies is watching them discover things, including their own fingers and toes. I think that’s part of what Jesus was talking about when He said we must become as little children. (Matthew 18:3) Ingratitude was a major problem for the Israelites down through the centuries, and Paul said it is a hallmark of the Last Days as well. (2 Timothy 3:1-5) We certainly see it in the “entitlement mentality” that is so widespread today. As we are horrified and/or disgusted to see such things in others, we need to look at ourselves and recognize how much we have fallen into that same attitude when it comes to all that God has provided for us.

I’m definitely talking to myself here. As I have been helping someone move for the first time in their life I have been overwhelmed by all the “stuff,” much of it of no use to anyone at this point. I look at myself and realize that I too am buried in stuff, with a sadly small percentage of it in active use. I need to let the Holy Spirit help me take inventory, not simply of what I have but of what He wants me to do with it. If things are to be disposed of, sooner is better than later. If things are to be used, I need to be diligent. Accurate stewardship starts with accurate understanding and appreciation of what I have. That applies to abilities as well as material objects. As the saying goes, “Use it or lose it.” I have an abundance of things, particularly as compared to people in some other parts of the world, and I have an abundance of abilities, most of which are dormant. If I were to make full use of even a fraction of what is at my disposal, the results would be astounding. I need to let God show me what He has given me and then make the use of it that He intends, for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. I’ve been familiar not only with this passage but what it meant for a long time, but I haven’t applied it consistently by any means. Help me be a better steward of Your abundant provision so that Your purposes may be accomplished in and through me, on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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