Since I often talk about the importance of getting into the Word, I started a series where I share one scripture or passage of scripture each Wednesday (and let's be honest, maybe Thursday or even Friday) and talk about why it has meant so much to me. I hope it encourages you to get into the Word and to use these scriptures as starting points perhaps, but to also find meaningful things in the Bible on your own as well.
Ever since my first miscarriage I feel like I've been on a roller coaster; highs and lows that I feel are out of my control. But I've noticed there is one thing that keeps me stable, and that is God's Word. Hebrews 4:12 says that it is ALIVE, meaning that we can interact and engage with it! When you open His Word with an open mind, He will fill it as you read and you will walk away feeling encouraged, challenged, peaceful, and joyful no matter your earthly circumstances!
But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
| GENESIS 39:21 |
But the Lord was with Joseph.
Those words bring me so much comfort. If you don't know the story of Joseph I'd encourage you to read it because it is one of my favorites. Essentially, Joseph was his father's favorite son and his older brothers were so jealous and full of hatred that they sold him into slavery. Fortunately, Joseph found himself favored by Potiphar, an officer to the Pharaoh of Egypt and he was made overseer of Potiphar's house. Eventually, due to some really unfortunate circumstances at no fault of his own, Joseph wound up in prison and was there for two whole years before being released. Chapter 39 is about Joseph's time in prison.
I can't imagine how scared Joseph was when he was betrayed by his own brothers and sold into slavery. Things could have gone from bad to worse so quickly, but Genesis 39:2 tell us, "The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master." While I am sure Joseph longed for his family, he was blessed and promoted by his master and held a lot of responsibility. But everything was ripped away from him when his master's wife tried to seduce him and he declined. In his haste to run away she grabbed his garment and then acted like Joseph had come onto her. So Joseph was thrown into prison.
Verse 20 tells us that Joseph's master was angry and immediately took him to the prison after hearing his wife's account of what happened. And I love that the very next verse begins with, "But the LORD was with Joseph." I've noticed that each time Joseph enters into a new season of life it is mentioned that the Lord was with Him. It brings me great comfort and reminds me that no matter where I find myself, the Lord is with me.
In prison Joseph found favor with the prison keeper and was promoted even within the prison. During his prison stay two of the Pharaoh's officers were imprisoned and they each had dreams that Joseph interpreted correctly. In hopes of finding favor with the Pharaoh, Joseph asks them to tell about his interpretations of their dreams, but they both forget to do so.
Genesis chapter 41 begins by saying, "After two whole years." After two WHOLE years of being in prison, Pharaoh dreamed a dream and Joseph was called out of prison to interpret it for him. TWO WHOLE YEARS. I'm sure Joseph had begun to give up hope that he'd ever leave his prison cell. But God intervened at just the right time.
Joseph's story reminds us that God is with us in the palace and in the prison.
He does not leave us simply because our circumstances do not seem to be in our favor. Going through two miscarriages often makes me feel like I'm in a prison. Waiting for a baby is tiring. It's been over two years now that my husband and I have been trying to bring a baby home and I am weary; it is easy to begin to lose hope. But Joseph's story breathes hope back into my life. I am reminded that the Lord is still with me.
If you go back and read the rest of Joseph's story you can clearly see that the Lord was involved with every detail of his life from start to finish. Joseph was eventually reunited with his family when he was seated in a high position of power and his brothers were afraid that he would imprison them or perhaps even have them killed. Instead, Joseph told them in Genesis 50:20, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today."
A trial is not a trial if you know why.
For a trial to have meaning it has to feel meaningless.
The quote above is from a recent message I heard in church from a visiting minister, Bro. Budd. Bro. Budd has lost his only two grown children and has fought in Vietnam, so his words carry a lot of weight in my life. I have been thinking about what he said now for a few weeks. This season of recurrent loss and trying to get pregnant often feel meaningless to me, and even unfair. But Bro. Budd's words are so true, if I knew why God was doing this it wouldn't feel like much of a trial; I wouldn't learn as much. I wouldn't feel the need to rely on Him every hour of every day just to make it through if I knew the answer already. Instead I'm just clinging to Him, hoping that if I stay next to Him He'll eventually lead me out of this mess.
There are so many ways that the enemy tries to steal God's glory and if I turned my back on God after my miscarriages, he would have succeeded for the time being. But I know that someday I will look back over this seemingly long and meaningless season in my life and realize that He was working it all for my good (Romans 8:28) and that He who begins a good work will carry it on unto completion (Philippians 1:6). I'll be able to say, "But the LORD was with Jessica and showed her steadfast love."
Past Wednesdays In The Word:
Love a Bible for a Friend:
Remember to check out what my friend Anne Marie is doing over at The Loved Bible Project! She wrote this sweet post about Wednesdays In The Word and how we are teaming up! Each week I will continue to post about a scripture that has helped me in my time of loss and Anne Marie is going to make a free printable that you can find in her Resources page! We encourage you to print it out and spend time soaking in God's Word as you decorate it and then include it in your own Bible or start working on a Loved Bible!