Sometimes life feels like it's shutting down all around us. The government shuts down. Communication with our teen cuts off. Our marriage is on the fritz. Our health goes on hiatus. Everywhere we turn, life is shutting down.
How do we get through? We can't logic our way past the problems. Or yell our way out. And we certainly can't drink our way to an exit ramp.
Let's be honest. Life can be pretty rough, and sometimes it gets worse before it gets better. Just ask Joseph. Remember him? Jacob's son--the one with the coat of many colors and brothers from two different mothers? Those brothers threw him into a pit, and it went downhill from there. Abandonment led to enslavement, then entrapment and finally imprisonment. He was sucker punched. Sold out. Mistreated. People made promises only to break them, offered gifts only to take them back. Life shut down. Sound familiar?
But Joseph never gave up. Bitterness never staked its claim. Anger never metastasized into hatred. His heart never hardened; his resolve never vanished. He not only survived; he thrived. He ascended like a helium balloon. An egyptian official promoted him to chief servant. The prison warden placed him over the inmates. And Pharaoh, the highest ruler on the planet, shoulder-tapped Joseph to serve as his prime minister. And then he used this authority for great good. It's not hyperbole to state that he saved the world from starvation.
What did he know? How did he flourish in the midst of tragedy and difficulty? Joseph knew that in God's hands intended evil becomes eventual good. He worked a plan and he trusted God. He knew that, with God's help, he would get through. This is still true today.
To be sure, the times are difficult. Just as Joseph did, we face governmental uncertainty, family disfunction and personal suffering. But just like Joseph, we can trust God to trump evil. It may not be painless, or quick. But God will use this mess for good. Don't give in to despair.
With God's help, you'll get through this.