Being a ‘basket case’ might just save your life

Published 3:15 am Saturday, August 27, 2016

A friend emailed a picture of a church sign that read, “Don’t give up! Moses was once a basket case too!”

I chuckled, but then thought of little baby Moses lying in the basket his mother made for him before she placed him in Egypt’s Nile River. She did it to save his life because Pharaoh had issued an order that Hebrew baby boys be killed.

The book of Exodus tells us that Pharaoh’s daughter, along with her servants, came to bathe in the Nile and found Moses floating in the water. Or as one person has described it, she came to the “bank” of the Nile and drew out a little “prophet.” God used a basket case to become the leader of his nation.

Moses was not the only basket case in the Bible. In the book of Acts, we read that the Apostle Paul found himself in a basket. Not long after his encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus, Paul was preaching that Jesus is the Son of God in the synagogues of that city. Some of the people conspired to silence Paul.

Day and night, they kept watch on the city gates in order to kill him. One night, Paul’s friends lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall to save his life. God rescued Paul because he didn’t mind climbing into a basket.

Then, there was the boy with five barley loaves and two small fish who gave his lunch – that his mother probably prepared – to the disciple Andrew, who took it to Jesus. After giving thanks for the food and breaking the bread, Jesus served more than 5,000 people, who ate until they were full. He asked the disciples to gather the leftovers and they filled 12 large baskets with bread.

We say the term “basket case” as slang for “a person who is helpless or incapable of functioning normally, especially due to overwhelming stress, or anxiety,” according to If the truth be told, most of us have felt like a basket case on more than one occasion.

Moses still felt like a basket case when God spoke to him at the burning bush in the desert. God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and say, “Let my people go.” But Moses made excuses, pointing out his speech impediment. So God sent Moses’ brother, Aaron, to be the spokesman.

God has a purpose and plan for every one of us and He promises, “My grace is sufficient for you,” because My strength works best in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Hudson Taylor, a British missionary to China, once said, “All of God’s great men have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on His being with them; they counted on His faithfulness.” Like the Apostle Paul, being a basket case may save your life. Be willing, like the boy, to do what you can where you are with what you’ve got and watch God bless others.


– Jan White is an award-winning columnist. She can be reached at