God is incredible. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and He has really been pressing me lately about what I’m thankful for. There are so many everyday things I take for granted. Take, for example, flipping a light switch or turning on the hot water. We only notice when they are gone. There are still people up north who are waiting for the privilege of those everyday things. I can do them. At any minute, for any reason, I might not be able to. Maybe I should show a little gratitude to God for that?
And speaking of up north, I saw a huge convoy of power trucks heading south on the highway yesterday. Finally heading home to their families, just in time for Thanksgiving. My husband is a soldier. I understand heroes. And, whether you agree or not, those men and women who loaded up trucks, left families, and drove north into an uncertain Sandy situation to restore power are heroes. I hope people acknowledge them as such.
Genesis 38: 2a, 21 (GW)–The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man... The Lord was with him. The Lord reached out to him with his unchanging love and gave him protection. The Lord also put Joseph on good terms with the warden.
Sometimes, I think we look at Joseph as the feel-good story of history. “It all turned out well for Joseph. He forgot the bad stuff. The end.” Reading his story earlier, it made me think of how much we talk about his highs and how little we talk about his lows. His brothers plotted to kill him then sold him to slavery. For all he knew, he’d never see his beloved father or little brother again. Never miss this… He was a slave. A young boy slave. He missed his daddy. He missed his home. He may have even missed his brothers. He was likely angry… depressed… stricken. You can be sure he didn’t skip merrily all the way to Egypt and Potiphar’s house. After all, he did not have our advantage of knowing how the story ends.
And just when things started to look up for him, he was falsely accused of a crime and thrown into prison. He could have been executed, and only by God’s hand did he survive. How frightened and alone did he feel? What were his prison conditions like? Again, he didn’t know what was coming next.
I won’t spend time on the whole “God was preparing Joseph for what was to come.” I agree, but that’s a whole other devotional in itself. What I do know is this…
A young boy. Scared. Angry. Alone. In a foreign country where he is a falsely accused, imprisoned slave. Crying out to God for deliverance that doesn’t come. And doesn’t come. And doesn’t come. And yet… God never left him. Not only that, God was working a plan the whole time, a plan he let Joseph in on to an extent. Essentially, he let Joseph have favor with man. How likely is it that Joseph, in his blind grief, didn’t recognize that favor immediately? Or did he see it and embrace it from the instant God moved? Was it hindsight or inyourface sight?
We all hit bottom. Enslaved by something. Imprisoned by something else. But God never stops working, even in our darkest hours. Somewhere there is favor. Somewhere there is hope. Somewhere there is a “rest of the story” that we have yet to even catch a glimpse of. I’m guessing Joesph clung pretty hard to God, the only part of his “old” life that remained constant throughout his life. Should we not follow his example and hold on tight, even when the storm rages?
Oh, there’s so much more than this!