July 15, 2014

When God Shows Up

Genesis 39:1-5

The LORD was with Joseph . . . .
—Genesis 39:2


Joseph found himself in the middle of a tough story. As the favorite son of a wealthy father, Joseph was resented by his brothers. To get rid of him, they sold him into slavery to merchants bound for Egypt. In Egypt he worked hard, found favor with his master, and eventually was put in charge of the master’s household. Then he landed in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Later, the one person who might have helped him gain release forgot about him, and Joseph waited day after day as life passed him by. (See Genesis 39-40.)

But there was more going on in Joseph’s story than we might think. As we brace against each new setback, the Bible tells us that God “was with Joseph.” And eventually we see how God was steadily working out his purposes, even through the disasters of a Hebrew boy wasting away as a slave in Egypt.

By the end of Joseph’s story, we’re amazed to see what God has been up to all along. Joseph interprets a dream for the king of Egypt, who makes him a ruler over the land; his brothers tearfully repent of their earlier cruelty; and their entire clan is saved from a famine that might have wiped them out and destroyed the future of God’s people. (See Genesis 41-50.)

What might God’s purpose be behind your story?

God, it can be so easy to miss what you are doing in our lives. Please open our eyes to be able to see the things you are doing all around us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at www.squintforgod.com.

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