Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. Genesis 39:1
Listen: Genesis 39
Joseph is stuck in a space he never intended to be. His brothers hate him and sell him into slavery. Joseph is taken to Egypt where an Egyptian official buys him to serve in his household. Joseph is in a foreign country, immersed in an unfamiliar culture and hearing a language he doesn’t understand. Amid nothing that reminds him of home—he is alone. He is in an undesirable situation much like Tom Hank’s character in the movie, “The Terminal.”
This week, we continue to follow the family of Abraham. This time the spotlight is now entirely on Abraham’s great-grandson, Joseph. But Joseph is not in Canaan with his family—but in Egypt. Just weeks before, he never could have imagined that he’d be the property of an Egyptian official, hundreds of miles from home. During long and sleepless nights in this undesirable situation, Joseph probably asked, “How am I going to survive?”
Maybe you’ve asked that question too. Maybe you asked it at the end of a long, bitter divorce you never wanted. Or when the business you poured 15 years of your life into had to shut its doors. Or through the crushing loneliness of not finding any friends after the move to a new school. During long and sleepless nights, maybe you too have asked, “How am I going to survive?”
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
When we’re in an undesirable situation, it’s difficult to believe that we can survive—let alone thrive. But we’ll see just that as we look at Joseph this week. To start your week, welcome God and pray this prayer with open hands, “Father, I’m yours today. You know my undesirable situation. I feel stuck and I don’t know what to do. With open hands I give this problem to you (again). Help me to trust in you as the only wise and good God. Show me how to both survive and thrive.”
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.