The thing about suffering is, nobody asks for it. It’s not something you sit by anxiously awaiting or welcomes happily as it rushes in. No, I’d liken suffering/trials to a hurricane- with winds wailing as the rain beats down and the water begins to rise. It’s a force to be reckoned with. And one you hold on to for dear life, hoping to survive. Does that feel familiar?
I’ve been reading through the story of Joseph again. His story seemed simple as a kid. Sure he was faced with some unfortunate circumstances, but in the end he was the right hand man to Pharaoh and helped save a nation of people. How could that be so bad? The problem was that I glossed over the years, I mean YEARS of set backs and suffering Joseph faced. I just skipped to the end and missed the whole hard middle. But I did remember the FABULOUS coat of many colors his father gave him. Real talk, do you ever wonder what the coat looked like? Was it patterned, thick, fly behind him free and light as the wind hit it while he walked? These are things I think about. TELL ME MORE ABOUT THIS COAT?! Sister, needs to know so she can get herself one of those!
But when I read through Joseph’s story now, it’s not just the coat that sticks out to me. Instead I find myself sitting and weeping for him. Because I know- I truly understand the shock, fear, and nausea that floods your heart as your legs get knocked out from under you in a hard circumstance. And like with Joseph, I often find that the moment things start to seem “normal” and I can gain my footing again, another wave rolls in, knocking me back down. But I also weep through his story, because a beautiful simple truth is echoed through each trial.
“But the Lord was with him.”
That little phrase is mighty, please don’t miss it as you read. You see, Joseph was never alone; God hadn’t abandoned him. Instead, He was moving Joseph to the exact place He needed him to be, for the HUGE purpose He could only have planned. Was it marked by years of hardship, uncertainty, and darkness? Yes.
But the Lord was with Joseph, every step of the way and He used those years for GOOD!
Your life may feel like Joseph’s – facing one hit after another. But there’s one thing I want you to know as you sit in that difficult meeting, hear of a scary health diagnosis, or struggle to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You are NOT ALONE.
“But the Lord is with you!”
The battle is His, the struggle is His, and as the waters seem to rise threatening to crash in destroying all you know, HE IS WITH YOU. He has the power to stop it all, fear must bow to Him, the darkness will cower, and the trial standing in front of your face WILL be used for His glory. I’m not sure what it may look like for you now or what God has planned, but I DO know that He can be trusted. He IS good and He WILL use all of this for good in His time. Believe He is there with you, picture it sweet friend. For when your eyes turn their focus onto that, the rest- the hurricane you are in, seems to calm. I know it, because I’ve seen it. Just trust Him.
Say it with me…
But the Lord was with Her!