Opening Prayer: “Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.”
Daily Scripture Reading:
- Genesis 42:21
- 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Yesterday we discussed the empty cistern that Joseph was thrown into but in other translations it is called a pit. Within the narration of Genesis 37 we don’t get much of a glimpse into Joseph’s reaction to being attacked, stripped, and thrown into the pit by his brothers but in the passage we read today in Genesis 42, we see the brothers admit he was distressed and pleading for his life. Obviously.
Don’t forget Joseph was a real kid. Don’t assume he gave up his robe and jumped into the pit without a fight. Imagine him bloodied and bruised at the bottom of a hole, his eyes adjusting to the darkness. Imagine him yelling, begging, until his voice went hoarse. Imagine the fierce anger of a 17 year old young man melting into the fear and desperation of a boy. Imagine the panic he felt when he realized that the life he had known and the one he assumed he would have was stripped as quickly as his coat. I bet he just wanted his dad.
Have you ever been there? Has the world ever thrown you such a hard curve you didn’t even recognize your own life? Have you ever been at the bottom of a pit screaming up to the silent betrayal of everyone you thought had your back? Has the darkness of the pit ever overcome the light of your dream? When our expectations of how it should be are slaughtered like the goat the brothers used to cover up their crime, what are we left with?
There is no doubt that today’s scriptures are challenging when we find ourselves in a pit. The chasm of suffering does not feel light and momentary most of the time. When our flesh is bleeding, it is difficult to remember our souls are being renewed and fixing our eyes on anything is hard in the darkness of the unknown. We feel crushed- not merely hard pressed. We feel like we are in despair, not merely perplexed. We look around and feel abandoned, not merely persecuted. We assume the dream is destroyed, not mere struck down.
It is easy to trust in abundance and favor. It is difficult to trust in the pit. But a soul that has fought hard to not lose heart, like we read in 2 Corinthians 4:16, will be stronger for the journey ahead. Sometimes our expectations have to die to make room for the real dream.
Jospeh’s cries did not reach his father’s ears, but yours do. If you find yourself in the pit of suffering and darkness today, call out to him and watch Him come running. He may lift you out of those circumstances, or He may climb down into the pit with you and comfort you with His presence. Suffering is the pits, but your Father is mighty to save.
Today’s Big Questions: Do you find yourself in a pit of suffering today? Can you name your pit? Spend a moment remembering the past pits that God has gotten you through and let it strengthen your heart.
Prayer Response: If you are in a pit, it is okay to feel distressed and plead for your life to your Heavenly Father just like Joseph did. We don’t need to clean up our prayers for God. Cry out to Him from your pit.
Optional Action Step: A lament is defined as “a passionate expression of grief or sorrow.” There is a whole book of the Bible called Lamentations! The Psalms are full of laments as well, cries from the pit. Read Psalms 42 and 43 today and consider writing your own lament about your suffering.
Closing Prayer: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21