Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you.’”
The LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.”
And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it.
Theologian John S. Dunne tells the story of a group of Spanish explorers seeking a new land. After a long and arduous journey, they happened to arrive at the continent of South America just at the mouth of the Amazon River. But, because the Amazon is the greatest river in the world, with a mouth of 202 miles wide at the discharge point into the Atlantic Ocean, these sailors did not recognize the river at all; they assumed it to be part of the Ocean.
The Amazon contains over 20% of the world’s fresh water and this discharge of fresh water can be detected over 200 miles out into the ocean. But these Spanish sailors, although sailing in the largest supply of fresh water in the world, did not recognize it. Of course they knew that drinking salt water could be fatal, so, with nourishing, fresh water all around them, some died of thirst.
Is it possible that you are like those sailors? Could it be that the dream you are pursuing is at your fingertips, but you simply don’t recognize it? Moses’ mistake was in thinking about what he did not have instead of what he did have. Perhaps he didn’t have a great speaking demeanor, but he did have a staff. I believe the staff of Moses represents the life experiences he has been through. After all, he had been a shepherd for 40 years at this point and the staff is the shepherd’s primary tool, used for walking, guiding sheep, killing snakes and various other needs. It was Moses’ time to shepherd an entire nation. God didn’t need an eloquent speaker; he needed a shepherd and he had been training Moses for just this purpose. His time was now. He was ready; he just didn’t realize it.
Do your life experiences seem mundane? Do you feel like your years have been wasted? Think again. In God’s economy, nothing is wasted. He wants to use you, right now, just as you are, with all of your baggage. In fact, whether you realize it or not, he has been preparing you. All you need to do is look at what is in your hand and give it to him.
Your dreams are closer than you think.