The Rod of Writing

by Elsie Bowman

“So the Lord said to him, ‘What is that in your hand?’ He said, ‘A rod’”

 (Exodus 4:2, NKJV).


Moses struggled to embrace his position and gifts as a man of God. Though raised in Pharaoh’s palace, he forfeited his royal position when he defended a Hebrew. After escaping a murderer’s sentence, he nestled in among the desert folk and watched over his father-in-law’s sheep. The would-be leader seemed content to remain a nobody in the eyes of the world when God appeared in the burning bush. The Lord commanded Moses to confront Pharaoh and set the Hebrew people free. This new assignment snatched Moses from his comfortable field and filled him with terror.

I can relate to Moses. In writing a query or bio to an unknown editor, I worry over my limited author’s resume. Like the shepherd summoned in Exodus, I spent the last forty years in an entirely different field. When I hear about the need to build platforms that include a popular blog, speaking engagements, and other forms of publicity, my response is “No way! That’s not me.” I have no MFA and am unknown in the publishing domain. Just as Moses questioned his aptitude, I also doubt my credibility.

But Moses’ feelings of inadequacy did not author his destiny. Neither do mine or yours. The Lord’s loving purpose and power have the final word. God simply asked Moses, “What is that in your hand?” As Moses answered and obeyed, God demonstrated his power.

What rod has the Lord placed in your hand? Perhaps you can express deep truths with clear, simple language. You might evoke emotion in the hearts of readers. Maybe your gifts equip you to teach, exhort, or lift souls with laughter.

God anoints writers with many talents. The Lord reveals himself through us as a means of communicating his message to a world desperate to know him. How could hurting people be set free through your words? Who is waiting for your message to encourage them, offer healing, or transform their lives?

The Lord sees beyond our weaknesses and asks us to do the same. No matter how small our qualifications seem or how large our author-anxiety looms, God will prevail through those who follow his call. He simply asks us to allow him to use the rod he placed in our hands.

Father, help us remember everything we do is for you. We return to you the gifts you gave us. Use us as your vessels however you choose, and we leave the results to you. We ask in the name of your son Jesus, our Lord. Amen.



Elsie Bowman is a licensed psychotherapist, life coach, and Bible teacher who writes devotionals for children and adults, as well as short fiction and poetry. She is active in Florida Word Weavers. Her deepest desires are to see hearts opened by a greater revelation of God’s love and set free by the truth of God’s Word.

8 thoughts on “The Rod of Writing”

  1. A beautiful reminder that when we think we are ill-equipped or unworthy, our weaknesses allow God to step in and show us the strength we have in Him.

  2. Elsie and Tina, thank you for this devotion which is timely for me. After I hit send a few minutes ago, I’d planned to begin another writing project. I’m thankful I stopped first to read this post. Elsie, you offered the most succinct, yet powerful summary of God’s work in the life of Moses I’ve read. Your analogy is refreshing and encouraging. The rod God placed in your hands today stirred excitement in my heart. Thank you.

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