The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. Genesis 39:2
Listen: Genesis 39
Joseph is in a bad spot. He is a slave, in a foreign country, surrounded by a culture he’s never experienced and trying to understand a language he’s never heard. He’s a Jew in Egypt. But he’s really not alone. Reread today’s verse slowly. “The Lord was with Joseph…” (Genesis 39:2). By including these five words, it is as if God is saying, “Don’t miss this! Joseph is in an undesirable situation, but I am with him.” God is present with Joseph. He wants us to know it and remember it so much that he repeats it a few verses later (Genesis 39:21).
God is present with Joseph—and Joseph is present in the situation. Joseph doesn’t check out, zone out or self-medicate. He shows up even though he is not where he wants to be. As we read the story, we can infer that Joseph excelled as Potiphar’s servant. He was attentive to his tasks, and he did them well. So much so that Joseph “found favor in his [Potiphar’s] eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household…” (Genesis 39:4).
In undesirable situations, it is tempting to shrug our shoulders with the phrase, ‘What’s the use?” We can easily zone out, numb out or self-medicate in a variety of ways. But when we do, we’re essentially saying that God isn’t present, and I won’t be either.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
We’ve all been in situations where we’ve said, “What’s the use?” You may be there right now. If you are, God wants you to know that he is with you. He also wants you to show up. On a 3 x 5 card or in your mobile device, today write the words, “God is present, and so am I.” Use these words as the basis for a short, day-long prayer something like this, “God, thank you for your presence with me. Give me the strength, through your Spirit, to show up in my undesirable situation.”
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.