I just started a study called “Finding God Faithful” by Kelly Minter and it’s currently walking me through the life of Joseph. I have read Joseph’s story before and, like all stories in the Bible, it speaks to me differently each time I read it depending on my life circumstances and what God is saying to me in any given season.
As we all know we are currently in quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I suppose for many, this time in our lives has been challenging to say the least. At first it was nice to stay home as so many of us live fast paced lives and it forced us to slow down. Then maybe some went through a season of accomplishment, getting those long awaited house projects done, or maybe your house has never been cleaner! But I can imagine, as this drags out much longer than initially anticipated, with no end in sight, spirits are dwindling.
With churches currently shut down, I’m sure we have all seen a virtual flood of God and worship all over the internet and social media. Many churches and spiritual leaders have done amazing jobs at keeping God at the forefront and taking advantage of the resources at their disposal. I have seen and read posts that this virtual outpouring could be our next revival.
For me, I have struggled with keeping any kind of routine, which has been imperative to my spiritual health over the last 2 or so years, and that has caused some backsliding. I have not been as diligent in my reading/prayer/study life, which has been disappointing to say the least. I know there are so many memes and content out there making light of the struggle. How many times have we found ourselves saying, “the struggle is real.” But how true is that statement for so many, and not on a joking level.
What does this have to do with Joseph? If you haven’t read his story, he was sold into slavery by his brothers, who at first intended to kill him, was seduced and falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into jail, eventually finding himself interpreting dreams and ending up in Pharaoh’s house overseeing all of Egypt. What strikes me the most about this story is Joseph’s attitude. Actually picture yourself in every circumstance Joseph found himself in. Yet….he found favor everywhere he ended up. Do you think that was because of a bad attitude or a poor me mentality? He certainly could have, considering his circumstances, and nobody would have blamed him. But he made the most out of every situation, trusting God, working diligently, and serving those around him.
I don’t believe God orchestrated all the evil things that happened to Joseph, but He knew about them long before they ever happened and He was able to orchestrate every outcome for His purpose. Joseph’s story is the catalyst for the foundation of the entire Old Testament. Bringing Joseph into Egypt brought Israel into Egypt and saved them from famine. In turn, the Exodus from Egypt is what the entire Old Testament is based on and is the culmination and fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abraham.
There’s no way to know the outcome of this COVID-19 pandemic, but God knew about this long before it ever happened and He is at work in the outcome. Our job is to make the most of this situation, trusting God, working diligently, and serving those around us, whatever that may look like. Nobody expects perfection, but perseverance and perspective are vital. There is something to be gained, even from our failures. I am committed to allowing this process to grow and mature me instead of discourage me. By the strength of God, I can do it and so can you.