In My Hand

by Oct 4, 2022Devotional

(I thought about this title.  Should it be “In My Hand”?  Or “A Possum in the Hand Is Worth More Than in the Bush”?  I don’t know, but after sending this incident to my niece Elena Wheeler, one of her thoughts was, “I feel a devotional coming out of this.”  Haha.  That didn’t cross my mind until the next day.  So, here it is.  This one’s for you, Elena.)

Samuel has been complaining about a possum who has been visiting our yard.  We’ve had problems with animals before—everything from mice to armadillos.

When we had problems with raccoons, we borrowed a trap from an older man in our church.  Sure enough, a trap on our porch caught eleven raccoons, two possums, two skunks, and the neighbor’s cat.  One at a time!

We didn’t know what else to do with them except what the animal control in our town does…take them to the dam and set them loose.  At some point (maybe the third or fourth raccoon?) Todd started to wonder if he was catching the same raccoon over and over.  I’m sure a smart raccoon could make its way the mile or two from the dam to our house.  So he started taking blue spray paint and spraying the raccoons to make sure he wasn’t getting the same ones back the next night.

Sure enough, we were always dealing with new specimen in our nightly catchings.

So, animals in our yard is not a new thing.

Then last night my oldest son, Samuel, came tearing into the house.  “Quick!” he shouted.  “The possum’s in the back yard again.  Get the flashlight off of the dryer!”

I flipped on my phone flashlight and raced for the backyard while one of the children grabbed a more powerful light from the dryer.

Samuel had the possum cornered behind the garden hose.

I wasn’t any help at all.  I just acted like the camera man as the Hamilton children screamed and danced around and chased the possum.  We bounced between being tickled at ourselves to urgency as the possum would run to new hiding places.  The girls would shriek and squeal as he came tearing out.  “Oh he’s cute!” one of them exclaimed.

Samuel was determined…this possum needed exterminated!  He was racing around the backyard with a stepping stone in his hand, from brush pile to the back porch to finally around the house, all while he was throwing the stone at this possum.  Once, he even hit it!  But it did not kill the possum.  No, he seemed even more alive than ever.

It would have been much more helpful if Samuel had a gun like his Wheeler cousins on the farm.  But we live in the city limit where it is illegal.

That did not stop Samuel last night.  Even if he had to grab a stick or a stepping stone.  He was going to do the best he could with what he had.

The older I get, the more this matters.  My vocal cords have suffered damage, but as long as I still have a voice, I want to do the best I can with what I’ve got!

When God told Moses to lead his people out of bondage, Moses felt so insufficient.  He tried to tell God how he did not have the talent.  Aaron his brother must have had a way with words that Moses didn’t have.  But God did not want to hear about that.

God asked, “What’s in your hand?”

Then in one of the fascinating stories of the Bible, God took that staff and turned it into an instrument of victory.

The stick turned into a serpent and back into a staff.

The staff showed up again in Pharaoh’s court.  And again at the Red Sea as Moses held his staff over the water in faith.

I don’t know if Samuel will ever be successful at getting rid of possums with large stones, but I do know that whatever is in my hand can be used by the Almighty.

What’s in my hand?  The desire to write another visualized children’s story?  Then let me cast off my insecurities and write.

What’s in your hand?

Last week taking pies to the neighbors up and down the street was what God gave Abigail to do.

If it’s from God don’t downplay it.  It’s not insignificant.  Do it with all your might.

What’s in your hand?


  1. Stephanie

    Love this, thinking about what we have available in our hand to help someone, and that it’s not insignificant. That is encouraging! 🙂

    • Elizabeth Hamilton

      Especially if you realize that since every good gift comes from above, then what’s in your hand was given from God! That changes everything.