God's Gifts

Jon Brown

READ : Exodus 4

The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” (v. 2)

In the spring of 2003 I graduated from Western Theological Seminary in Holland,
Michigan. I was called to pastor among the rocky beaches of Puget Sound and the good
people of Oak Harbor, Washington. I left Holland trusting I would be able to preach each
week and eager for the opportunity to lead a congregation through the choppy waters of
life and faith.

But my stomach began to churn at the thought of performing a funeral. I said to myself, “I’ll preach, I’ll lead, but don’t ask me to do a funeral.” Clearly that is not a realistic request for a pastor to make, and within the first few months I found myself standing before the congregation at the funeral for John Van Kal. I was petrified; if people couldn’t see my knees shaking I’m sure they felt them.

Six years and dozens of funerals later, I have learned this: God equips those whom he calls. Before each funeral it was as if I could hear God say to me what he said to Moses, “What is that in your hand?”

God takes what we have and enables us to use it in his kingdom for his glory. He did it for me; he will do it for you.


Lord, thank you that you call and thank you that you equip. Amen.