Updated: May 7, 2020
Playoffs...every Texas boy’s dream. We were in Giddings, Texas, warming up for our quarterfinal game against some boys from San Antonio. It was my first game back from an injury that had plagued me all year. Getting recruited added to my excitement. I was hoping to stir up some attention from bigger universities.
I kneeled down on the hot turf and leaned deep into a stretch. As I did, my nearly healed tear in my hamstring ripped back open. I fell on my back, writhing in pain. I laid there for what felt like an eternity as the trainer worked on my leg. The whole time, all I could do was ask God, “Why is this disaster happening?”
Disaster. We all experience it at some point in our lives.
And there’s no doubt that we’re experiencing a worldwide disaster right now that’s affecting everyone differently.
Finding joy may seem far fetched when we’re not sure how long these circumstances will continue. Sometimes all we can seem to ask ourselves is, “God, why is this happening?”
This is a tough question, because oftentimes His answer isn’t always immediate. We can see this to be true in the story of Joseph.
In Genesis 37, Joseph is roughly seventeen. He was the youngest of many brothers and his father’s favorite son. One day, disaster struck. His jealous brothers jumped him and sold him into slavery. Over the next thirteen years he was falsely accused of attacking his master’s wife, thrown in jail to rot, and eventually forgotten.
The entire time, the Lord was with him and grew him in his ability to lead. By a wild series of events, at the age of thirty, Joseph was made second-in-command in Egypt.
Years later, a major famine hit and Joseph’s brothers made the three hundred mile journey to Egypt to buy food. When they ran into Joseph, they didn’t realize who they were talking to. He eventually revealed his identity and they were terrified because they were the ones who sold him into slavery in the first place! But Joseph forgave them and repeated three times it was God who sent him there...so many lives could be saved.
Joseph’s whole family, including their father Jacob, moved to Egypt where they survived the famine. That is where we can start to see more clearly what God was doing in a disaster.
If we fast-forward to Matthew 1 (which is basically Jesus’ Ancestry.com account) we can trace Jesus’ ancestry back to Jacob. By allowing Joseph to go through what he did, God protected the family line that Jesus would be born into.
WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THIS STORY IS:
God allowed Joseph to go through that disaster to preserve the very lineage that would eventually produce Jesus, who would die on the cross for our sins and give us the opportunity to be made right with God. Talk about joy!
God used disaster to mature Joseph’s faith.
The same God that was at work in THAT disaster is the God that is at work in THIS disaster.
If you’re following Christ...
What is God trying to teach you during quarantine?
If you’re investigating your faith...
How is God pursuing you during quarantine?
When I laid there on that field, I had no idea God was pursuing me. I re-injured my hamstring again in college and once again asked God, “Why does this keep happening?” Soon, I would get an answer to my question.
I transferred and met a guy who helped me process my faith. God allowed me to experience a disaster so I could come to know Him.
"I wouldn’t trade that for a college football career."
Joseph’s story gave me a whole new perspective on the disasters I experience. I still struggle. I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around it, but imagine how much our faith might grow if we begin to ask ourselves this question: “What is God doing in disaster?”
Discuss these questions with a friend or spiritual leader to help apply today's reading:
What does the story of Joseph show us about God’s character?
What do you think God is teaching you right now? How does this bring you joy? (James 1:2-5)
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