Judge Denise Page Hood,  Judge Damon Keith, Judge Gershwin Drain and Judge Linda Parker are Federal Judges in the Eastern District of Michigan.  Judge Keith is a Federal Circuit Court Judge based in Cincinnati , Ohio

What Is in Your Hand?



At 80 years of age, at the command of God, Moses left the land of Midian to return to Egypt and challenge Pharaoh to, “Let my people go.” At first, Moses seemed unsure of himself. At a critical point along the way, God asks a question of Moses: “what is that in your hand?” (Ex.4:2) Moses replied that it was his walking stick, a staff. God told him to throw the staff on the ground and to the surprise of Moses, the staff became a snake. God then told Moses to pick up the snake and it once again became a stick. This experience helped Moses to realize the power that he already had in the power of his own hand.

I use this story from the Bible to encourage people who feel overwhelmed with their lack of power. When money is funny and a person comes to me for a help, I often share the story of Moses to remind them that God has already invested in them and made them powerful enough to transform their situation.

Exodus 4: 2 “Then the Lord said to him, What is that in your hand? A staff he replied. The Lord said, throw it on the ground…”

I encourage you to rethink what ever challenge that is before you and ask yourself, what has the Lord already provided me that I might help myself to move forward?

On New Year’s Eve, I will be preaching at 10PM at the church where I serve as pastor, the Plymouth United Church of Christ. My message will be entitled, “Stretch forth thy Hand” which is based on the story of Moses as he prepared to confront Pharaoh in Egypt. My New Year’s Message will be about doing what James Brown sang about, “You’ve got to use what you got to get what you want”

Dinner will be served at 8 PM. Spoken word talent show at 9 PM and worship at 10 PM. I hope to see you in church on New Year’s Eve.

Rev. Nick
Questions for Reflection:

  1. What is the significance of God telling Moses to use what he was holding in his hand?
  2. How often in life have you looked for a solution to a problem, only to realize that you already had the power in your hands to resolve the issue?


Prayer: Lord, grant me the wisdom to understand the scope, breadth and depth of the power that you have endowed upon me. Lord, make me unafraid to use my power. Grant that I might use the power that you have invested in me to do good and not evil. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/