Hey Gang: Many years ago our Board President felt we needed a little rest and relaxation so he provided a scholarship for us to spend a week at the Christian Retreat Center in Bradenton, Florida. while there we were privileged to sit under the teachings of such people as Gerald Derstine, Iverna Thompkins, Judson Cornwell and many other anointed teachers.
But one that I would place at the top of the list was a pastor by the name of Jamie Buckingham. Jamie had spent many weeks in the Sinai learning what God would teach him the desert.
He wrote a book, that graces my library, titled A way Through the Wilderness.
When I find myself in the midst of a wilderness experience, more times than not, I return to the pages of this book for encouragement and perhaps a better understanding of what I am going through. He, like Paul and James, is a very practical teacher. He uses the simple things of the desert to teach us profound truths.
For example, he points out that when God is looking for something for His service, He usually looks for something common to us. An old country preacher once said, "When God needs something done, He looks for a broken vessel and smashes it and then places it on the potter’s wheel for molding into the image of His Son and preparation for what lies ahead.
In Exodus 4:2 we find such an example. Moses was not red hot on the idea of going back to the land of Pharaoh who had placed a price on his head for bumping off one of their citizens. He, like most of us, opened his bag of excuses as to why we do not want to do something. ‘I mean Lord, I don't talk so good, I mean Lord I am a minimally educated hillbilly from the sticks, I mean Lord there are mega people more qualified than I.’
I wonder if Saul might have come up with similar excuses as to why he did not want to become Paul the missionary to the Gentiles. But God gave him no opportunity to open his excuse bag - He (God) looked down and said, "I'll take that one” and knocked him off his donkey".
I wonder if God was not becoming a wee bit impatient with Moses when He said to him "Hey, Moses, what do you have in your hand?” "A rod". "Throw it on the ground". We know the story, the rod turned into a serpent. God said pick it up by the tail. The serpent turned back to a rod but without the serpent in it.
Soooo, my young friends, We know, from seeing all the movies about Moses, that he was never without that rod. Why? Because the rod represents authority! Moses was now a man under authority. Does that mean we should all go and get a rod? No!, I do not think that is the focus of the story; but rather that God can use anything that is given to Him. Keep in mind God honors simple things!