“The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field. So he left all that he had in Joseph’s charge, and because of him he had no concern about anything but the food he ate.” (Genesis 39:2-6, ESV)
“Get back on defense!” Coach yelled. “All right, base line.”
This was the second time we hadn’t gotten back on defense, the second time we’d paid for it in a down-and-back sprint. But these were easy. My blood pumped, and I wanted to run and race and power through like nothing else. We sprinted down and back, and the scrimmage against the coaches resumed. At the end of practice, after we’d run and run and run and scrimmaged and run, I felt like I could do a back flip off the wall, run against a troop, bend a bow of bronze, and I praised God in my heart and thanked Him for basketball, for the challenge that it is, for the energy to go through it, to thrive in it, for the strength to develop, grow, and be better. It was awesome.
When I got back to my dorm, I settled on the floor in front of the windows to spend time with God. “Be still and know” came into play, and my pumped-up-ness settled down. I read through the passage with which I started this post, and after spending time with God, spending time in His Word, after getting ready for the day and get some extra homework done, this kept coming back to me: “His master saw that the Lord was with him” (v.3).
Today was hit with how proud I am to be Jacob’s girl. Jacob is such a blessing to me, and I admire him in so many ways. God has grown me, blessed me, challenged me, rescued me, and fought for me through Jacob. Today I was just absolutely overwhelmed by how amazing God is in this way, how He’s grown our relationship and used it and pushed us through it.
I walked across campus, and thought on this, talking to God about Jacob, and then it hit me: Wow, I’m really proud to be God’s girl. And then I was even MORE overwhelmed with that reality. Joseph was God’s guy, and everyone knew it. They could see it and depended on it. There was a certain something about Joseph that drew people in, and each verse introducing this starts with “And the Lord was with Joseph…” Joseph was awesome because the Lord was with him. People were drawn to Joseph because he, as Paul would later describe in 2 Corinthians, was an aroma to those around him, pointing back to God.
And as I contemplated how insanely amazing it is that I am God’s girl, that God is totally okay to call me His, that He loves me and claims me as His own…that He’s, gosh, made me worthy to be part of His saving the world…it’s kind of unbelievable 🙂
Last week was a challenge, coming to a climax on Thursday when the whole world seemed to be ending (homework + fatigue + lack of time + basketball + other + even more other), but God was solid and strong in the moments when I wanted to give up and break down, and I was reminded of 1 Samuel 30:6, when David has just returned to Ziklag, the place he left his wives and a large body of people loyal to him and to his God, only to see that it has been burned down by the enemy, and that the same enemy took his wives as well as the sons and daughters of those returning with him.
“And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”
I think of that today as well, as I head into Studio to be critiqued. The story I’ve written is hard, and vulnerable…I think it might be the most vulnerable story I’ve written thus far for Studio, where I live in my perspective as a child of God, as a warrior princess in His army…and while I’m not at all afraid of being rejected or criticized or even attacked for it, I am more afraid that no one will be challenged by it, that it will be ineffective according to its design, that no one’s world will be shaken, no one’s heart will be softened towards Christ. But here I am, trusting God to do what He will, and asking that He help me represent Him well, remembering that He loves and has died for my professor and my classmates.
It will be cool 🙂 And God will be awesome 🙂
“‘You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.'” —John 3:29-30