I’m sure that you are familiar with the proverb that says, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” In essence, the meaning is that it is better to focus your attention on what you already possess rather than worrying about what you do not have and, quite frankly, may never have in your grasp. But how many times have we spent our days worrying about those things that for the moment may be totally out of our reach, instead of paying careful attention to what is currently within our grasp?
When I think about this saying, I can’t help but being reminded of the encounter that Moses had with God as He called out to him, from of all places, a burning bush. He tells this former Prince of Egypt to go back to Pharaoh and demand that the Israelites be set free. From the time I was a child, I’ve loved to hear this story in church or, even better, see it depicted on television in Cecil B. DeMille’s classic, the Ten Commandments every Easter.
One of my favorite parts to this story is when in response to God’s command for Moses to return to Egypt to deliver His people from bondage, Moses proceeds to give God a host of reasons, or should I say excuses, as to why he is fearful of carrying out God’s calling upon his life. Moses brings up everything from his speech problem to the fact that no one will take him seriously. But what I find even more interesting than Moses’ excuses is God’s response. In Exodus 4:2 God asks of Moses, “What is that in your hand?” And what Moses had in his hand was nothing more than a staff, or a shepherd’s rod. But if you read the story of the Exodus carefully, you will discover that this rod would later be used to produce water from a rock as well as to invoke plagues upon the Egyptians.
As have many of us from time to time, Moses was more concerned about what he didn’t have to carry out his mission than what he did have. Too many times we are of the opinion that the reason that we have been unsuccessful in our God-given tasks is due to what we need rather than in trusting to God to use what we already have. Because when God calls you to do something, “a bird in the hand is always more than the two in the bush.”