As I walked my dog this morning, I was once again struck by the beauty of the Autumn season. Brilliant orange, yellow, and red leaves. The crisp and cool breeze ─ not too hot, not too cold. Fun decorations around neighbors’ houses to celebrate the season. This brought me into a meditative time of rejoicing in God’s beauty and creativity. For a few moments, I was able to block out the many troubles in our world that have an impact on all of us. It is during difficult times that we need to intentionally spend time meditating on the awesome character of God. “Set your mind on the things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2). Of course we need to deal with the challenges of each day. But starting out our day by meditating on our Lord’s amazing nature can give us hope and endurance throughout the day.
As we launch into this new series of devotions, let us spend time reflecting on different characteristics of God’s incomparable nature. I am currently reading a wonderful book called God’s Mysterious Ways, by Gary Inrig. The author takes us through his healing journey from the sorrows he faced when his daughter died from an aneurysm. The Holy Spirit used the life of Joseph from the Scriptures to help Gary make some sense out of this tragedy. Personally, I am really benefiting from the lessons this brother learned. He writes:
"Long years of routine faithfulness and diligence in the hardest of circumstances had taught Joseph lessons and forged characteristics that prepared him for the next stage of God’s intended journey. Joseph’s experience had been hard, but it wasn’t a wasted time because of what God was doing within him" (Inrig, page 109).
This spoke to me because Covid-19 has made my job more about Zoom calls and e-mails and less about traveling and speaking in various countries and cities. Though I enjoy connecting with people (one of my favorite things to do), some of the energy I receive from these encounters is depleted when done via computer. It seems that life has more days of needing to push myself to be faithful to fulfill more routine and less rewarding tasks. I also am spending more time buying and delivering food for people in need. Unfortunately, mercy is not one of my spiritual gifts, but in faithfulness, I respond to God’s leading to serve others in need. Operating in our gifts brings joy and energy to us. However, knowing that I am helping others and pleasing the Lord brings a lot of joy to my heart no matter how I am serving.
The Lord is faithful to us. If we are surrendered to His will, He will miraculously and faithfully use all the seasons of our life for our good and His glory ─ in essence, I am paraphrasing Romans 8:28. The mundane chores and leadership opportunities that Joseph was given as Potiphar’s head house-servant and then overseer of all the prisoners prepared him for the incredibly huge task of managing all of the affairs of Egypt! There was NO way for Joseph to comprehend what was going to happen in his future. In fact, daily, it looked quite bleak. He unjustly was given a life sentence in prison. Though I am sure some days were pretty rough, Joseph never lost hope in the faithfulness of God.
Some seasons of our lives are extremely difficult to walk through. My fifteen years of spending my summers in the hospital definitely prepared me for His calling to bind up the brokenhearted and proclaim freedom for the captives. Please do not lose heart. God is with you. He will turn your mourning into dancing in His timing. Nothing is wasted. Remain faithful to the tasks He has given you at this time. In His faithfulness, He will use this time to mold you, use you, and prepare you for the seasons yet to come.
Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 39-44
By: Sue Corl