Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What Is In Your Hand?

When Moses was tagged by God for the great mission of freeing the Jewish people from Egyptian slavery he wasn't as keen about it as you might expect a Bible-type hero to be. He would have been primed, locked, loaded, and ready to rock when he was 40. Back then he was strong, active, and driven to help his people. Now, forty years later, he was 80 (note how quickly I did that math) and for the last several decades he was head of Sheep, Sinai Division. That's it. God called him into battle and, after Moses offered one excuse after another, asked him "What do you have in your hand?"

God is never interested in why we can't do this or that. He is very interested in what we have in our hand. What is available to you? What are your talents? Resources? What kind of backup do you have in place financially, socially, personally? What gift or gifts might you have that would help?

When people come to me who are depressed, or who have lost their job, or whose health is broken, or who have just had to take in aged parents while their kids were still not grown... one of the questions I ask them is "what resources do you have?" We work on this, sometimes for weeks for the answers do not always surface quickly. I have found that almost everyone has a lot more resources than they realize. They see the empty places, the lack of talents and support, rather than seeing the good things. This is normal. We all do it.

Want to test it? You have fifteen seconds to think of an embarassing or painful moment in your life. Didn't take that long, did it? You now have fifteen seconds to think of something wonderful, a moment where you shined and the world was a terrific place to be. Hmmmm.... takes longer, doesn't it? That is understandable. When you enter a room and see a snake on the floor you don't immediately counter by thinking, "But look at the huge expanse of snake-free floor!" However, when all we see are the snakes, we sometimes forget we have a hoe to kill them with!

When I think of the talents I don't have, the people who don't like me, the churches that write me (and Rochester) up, or my not-so-good health I make myself begin a list of the resources I DO have, the things with which God has blessed me. First and foremost, of course, are my darling wife, my dear princess of a daughter, and my towering, strong, and noble son. I'll leave you with their photos as I sit back and think about what God has already given me. "Count your many blessings... and it will surprise you what the Lord has done."


At 8/23/2006 03:44:00 PM , Blogger Lance said...

What I find very exciting to watch is people who don't even know they are gifted/blessed in an area suddenly figure out that they are.
We should never be afraid to try new things. It might be something we are blessed with the ability to do and do well for God.

At 8/23/2006 04:15:00 PM , Blogger Jim MacKenzie said...

Nice use of Moses' lessons for those in therapy.

For years I have tried to stay solution-focused in my approach to helping people. It's so easy for therapists and other people-helpers to remain problem-focused which, IMHO, in the end, only keeps people right where they are! Stuck looking at everything bad!

I love this and will use it to encourage, empower, and exhort people!

At 8/23/2006 06:53:00 PM , Blogger That Girl said...

I say "I can't" way too much! My daddy taught me to say, "I don't want to" but that's not good either.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

At 8/23/2006 10:02:00 PM , Anonymous TinaMarie said...

Count your blessings. It's amazing how this really works!! The last two months I have begun doing that whenever I'm tempted to look at the bad. There are times where I need to pray and ask my Father for help to fight the negativity that is trying to pull me down. He does help me by bringing to mind the one or two blessings and then I add more. Satan wins when we forget to count our blessings and remember what the Lord has done in our lives. Thanks for the reminder!!!

At 8/24/2006 08:14:00 PM , Blogger Dee O'Neil Andrews said...

You have a gloriously beautiful family, Patrick. Truly. You ARE a blessed man.

We ALL are blessed by so much. May we always realize those blessings and appreciate them and help others who can't see their own, better find their way.


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