I held it in my trembling hands after three payment instalments and four months of waiting – four months of unruly hair. Now my tresses would be forever straight, or with a perfectly styled curl depending on my mood.
I was the proud owner of a GHD straightening iron and treated it like gold.
I was on the final layer of hair while trying to juggle the brush, the iron and a strand of hair (can I get an, “Amen,” anyone?) when disaster struck. Mere days after bring it home from the salon, my precious GHD slipped from my hands.
Everything happened in slow motion. I had visions of my three hundred dollar investment shattering against porcelain tiles. In desperation my reflexes grasped at the iron to catch it any way I could. My index finger caught the hot iron millimetres from the floor.
But I mishandled it. And the 350 degree plates used to create perfect hair seared my skin.
I was left with a third degree burn all because I mishandled it.
I wonder if there are situations in your life you didn’t handle very well? Perhaps the way you raised your children? Perhaps an argument with your spouse? A situation at your job? Conflict with your parents or a sibling?
I know I have. And the list of mishandled mistakes is far more illustrious than a straightening iron. More importantly the pain I seared on the hearts of those I mishandled – as an employee, teacher, pastor, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, wife – is crushing.
Unfortunately there are times when we don’t handle things well. Moses was no different.
In Exodus 4 Moses was wandering in the dessert looking after his father-in-law’s sheep. Unlike David, Moses was not raised a shepherd. He was raised a prince.
He was in the desert because he didn’t handle things.
Outraged by the slavery of his people, the Hebrews, Moses attempted an intervention. In the process he got angry and killed a man. Moses did the right thing the wrong way – he didn’t handle it – and that’s why he was in the desert, not the palace.
When we handle things the wrong way it makes us reluctant to handle things again. But God came calling on Moses. He asked Moses to lead His people out of bondage. Moses was reluctant to handle things because of the mess he made last time. So God set about to teach Moses a lesson in how to handle it. You see, when we handle things God’s way, it works.
What’s in your hand?
What are you reluctant to handle? For Moses it was a shepherd’s staff – broken dreams, mishandled opportunities. For you it may be a broken marriage, revolting kids, bad health, past hurt.
Learn how to handle it.
Don’t run from fear.
God commanded Moses to throw the staff to the ground and it turned into a snake. Moses jumped back, too afraid to handle it. How often are you and I afraid of the very thing God wants us to handle?
Exodus 4:4 Then the Lord told him, “Reach out and grab its tail.” So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a shepherd’s staff in his hand.
I am no snake handler, but that’s not how Dr Chris handles snakes. He grabs it by the head so he is in control. If you handle a snake by the tail it might bite you.
God wants to be in control, not you. Trust Him and let go of fear. Stop running from fear and handle it. He won’t let it bite you. He’s already crushed the head. He has dealt with it. He has dealt with sin, guilt, rejection and unforgiveness.
You can handle it because He has handled it. You can handle your kids. You can handle your marriage. You can handle your job. You can handle being in ministry.
If Moses kept running, he never would have seen what the staff could do. He never would have seen it turn the Nile into blood. He wouldn’t have seen it infest the same river with frogs. He never would have seen it part the sea. He never would have seen it defeat the Amalekites. He wouldn’t have seen it bring water out of a rock.
Whatever you have mishandled or refused to handle, God has other ideas. He knows you can handle it, you just have to trust Him. Trust Him with fear. Trust Him to turn past mistakes into glorious freedom.
Today, step up and handle it.