“And he took the staff of God in his hand”.
Ex 4:20 NIV
When we embark on a new stage of life, or move to a new area, we usually take with us the good wishes of family and friends, and maybe one or two gifts, a certain amount of hope and no doubt plenty of fears and misgivings. We hope we will be up to the job. And we resolve “to give it our best shot”.
Moses left the desert place and his wife’s family where he had been living, with more than the usual misgivings. He was given a staff – a long stick of wood, no doubt cut from a nearby tree. It was the staff of God and was to be the symbol of the trust God had in him, and his position of authority. But it symbolized much more. God had promised to be with him, and he would go relying on God and his resources, strength and presence, not on his own. But it was more even than that. It spoke to him of God’s acceptance of him in his weakness, and therefore of God’s forgiving grace.
None of us is worthy to serve God or to do whatever he asks us. In the service of Holy Communion there is a prayer known as “The Collect for Purity”. It goes, “Almighty God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit…” This was originally intended as the minister’s own prayer for cleansing before he was fit to offer the grace of God to others. You too, need that grace. Take it. It is God’s staff for your every need.
Lord, help me always to be humbly reliant on your grace.