Set Back To Move Forward
Emphasis, Genesis 39: 19-23
I once heard a story of a successful physician with a thriving practice, respected in his community and life was going well. Then it happened. God called him to missionary service in a distant foreign country. Wow! Life was good where he was, but now it was time to give it all up. He gives up his practice, sells his home, and leaves to begin his new life as a missionary physician. Far from home, he still has a day and a half hike through the rain forest to reach his ministry destination; the team stops in a small village to rest for the night and the physician realizes he left his snake net. Although a little apprehensive, he’s too exhausted and tries to get comfortable and prepares to rest. He begins to pray, “Lord, keep me safe through the night and allow no harm to come to me while I sleep.” Just after falling asleep, he is suddenly awakened by a heavy thud on his chest. He opens his eyes and there, on his chest, is a large poisonous snake lying coiled! Astounded, angry, and afraid to move he began to pray silently, “Lord, why would you have me give up my practice, sell all I had to come and serve as a missionary only to die here?” No sooner had he finished mourning his circumstances when two robbers burst in on him. As one of the robbers raised a bat to hit him in the head, the resting snake strikes and almost instantly kills the bat-wielding burglar. The other robber ran for his life. The snake slithered away.
What looked like death was God intervening to continue his will in the physician’s life.
Question: What do you do when you don’t understand what God is doing?
I can’t help but think about our selected text for the week and how God often takes us on a roller coaster ride to reach our destination. What may seem like danger, a detour or a disappointing set-back is often the Lord’s way of extending his plan.
How often do we wonder, ‘Did I hear wrong?’ Or, ‘Why would the Lord bring me here to experience such difficulties?’
Joseph had a dream (Genesis 37: 5-11); but here (Genesis 39: 19) he is placed in prison. He is in prison not because he has done wrong, but he is in prison because he would not do wrong and Mrs. Potipher lied (Genesis 39: 1-18).
Question: How well do you handle unfair treatment?
Lord, help us to know even when we are in a bad place you are still God and still good, Amen.