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Small Beginnings

One day, a novice shepherd decided that he needed a staff. After all, all shepherds need staffs. Having little money, he went to a stand of almond trees and selected a young sapling that looked straight and strong. Cutting it down, he fashioned it into a rod about 6 feet long. Finishing, he thought to himself, “this will be a really good walking stick.”

Over the years, as he learned the shepherd biz, our friend used his staff for many things. It helped him walk, when tired he leaned on it, and when his sheep were in danger he used it for protection. Moses came to rely on his staff and it went everywhere with him.

You never know what you might see

A Man With A Stick

As he leaned on his stick one day, remembering when he first cut it from a stand of young almond trees, he looked up at the mountain before him and saw a curious sight. A bush burned with a bright fire but did not seem harmed by the flame. Taking his stick, our friend struggled up the mountain until he stood before that burning bush.

We all know the tale of Moses and the burning bush. It is one of the most well-known stories in the Bible. A man meets God face to face and is never the same afterwards. Isn’t it odd, though, that God told Moses to loose his shoes but allowed him to bring his stick onto holy ground? Was being in the presence of God what made that stick special?

God sees what we will be, not just what we are

Perhaps God foresaw that stick, cut from such humble beginnings, would someday consume two serpents of the magicians of Pharaoh’s court. Maybe God foresaw how that rod would turn the entire Nile to blood. Held up over the red sea, God foreordained that shepherd’s staff would not only part the waters before it, but save an entire nation from certain death. In the hands of Moses, that almond rod would strike solid stone causing fresh water to flow from it. Whereas, that rod seemed to be only a simple stick, YHWH saw a shaft that would blossom even though it was old and dry. Finally, our Lord knew it would aid Moses, many years in the future, to climb the mountain where He would take him home.

The day that particular seed fell onto the ground, no one knew what it would become…but God did. When it grew among all the other almond saplings it did not know what its future held…but God knew. The day it was cut down perhaps it thought its life was over, but in God’s eyes its journey was just beginning. Indeed, for many years it was simply a common walking stick, never imagining the power of God that would flow through it someday.

Be the stick of God

You are like that stick. Humble in origin but destined to be mighty in God. Like that almond sapling, you might think that your life is over because of what has happened to you. However, just as you feel finished, the best is yet before you.  In reality God singles you out for His purposes, because He has plans for you.  God’s plans include living an amazing and full life in His hands. The truth is that your future holds a greater destiny than you could possibly imagine. You, because of your age, may feel like an old dried out piece of wood, but in the hands of the Almighty you will blossom once again.

In conclusion, do not despise yourself because you are merely a stick. We are all just sticks. Know this, though, even a stick, when lifted by Jesus (the greater Moses) becomes the staff of God. Just realize that even the most common person can, in the right hands, accomplish miracles and do mighty wonders. Be the stick that goes wherever God goes and you will see great things done through you too.

Justin Abraham at the Convergence