Journal Entry // February 2, 2022
Then they sat down to eat. And looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt.Genesis 37:25 ESV
This morning I was reading through the beginning story of Joseph and his brothers. I have always been fascinated by Joseph for a lot of different reasons, but mainly because of his faithfulness and steadfastness to be content with where God has placed him. In this beginning part of Genesis I see a sort of naivety to Joseph in how he relays his visions/dreams. He does it in such a way that his brothers hate him. They hate him so much that they conspire against him and throw him into a pit. Then, as Joseph is in the pit before them, they sit down and have a meal together.
This phrase, “Then they say down to eat” struck at my heart because it seems so callous an action. The thought that these brothers can conspire and put into action their plan by throwing their youngest brother into a pit, then sit down together and enjoy a meal as one. All within earshot of their youngest brother in a pit. What must be going through Joseph’s mind as he replays the events in his head and then must listen to his brothers recount the events with laughter and plans for more.
My mind is taken to Psalm 23 where we are told that God “prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies.” So while the brothers are enjoying a meal together to laugh over Joseph and exult in their plan, God has prepared a table for him and Joseph in that pit. Jesus is meeting and having fellowship with Joseph in that pit. In this dark and vulnerable moment, the Lord meets with Joseph. Jesus brings comfort and peace to Joseph in the exact moment he needs it most. He doesn’t wait for Joseph to be lifted out of the pit or rescued or abandoned. No, Jesus meets him in the presence of his enemies. In the presence of those who wish him harm.
This is my comfort, Jesus alone. There was no rescue. In fact, the story of Joseph continues to move progressively down a road of continued heartache and turmoil. The comfort is not that Jesus will lift me out of the pit, but that he is there with me in the pit. Joseph needed that pit in his life. That pit was important for developing and maturing Joseph. Indeed, he would not have been prepared to lead all of Egypt through the famine to come without time spent in that pit. That pit was vital.
So, how am I doing in my pit? Am I content to meet with Jesus and take comfort simply from his presence? I wish that were true. I still struggle with being in the pit. I still hear the laughing and merryment above the pit. I worry that the pit is not the end and that there is still more adversity to come after the pit. But I know this pit is important and that it is here in the pit of darkness and despair that I find Jesus. I may push back and lose hope, but Jesus is there to comfort me.
In this pit, I am meeting with Jesus regularly. He is teaching me, training me, and showering me with his love and mercy and grace. I sometimes feel overwhelmed and depressed. I succumb to the lies whispered in my ear by the enemy. But the Lord is gentle with me. He draws me close and holds me tight. He is teaching me both patience and humility. I want to want to learn and continue to learn through this time. I want to know Jesus and be known by Jesus in a deep and intimate way.