Thankful: God is in control

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near me,” and they came near. “I am Joseph, your brother,” he said, “the one you sold into Egypt. And now don’t be worried or angry with yourselves for selling me here, because God sent me ahead of you to preserve life…God sent me ahead of you to establish you as a remnant within the land and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.”

– Genesis 45:4-5, 7

Today, I am thankful that God is in control.

There are no surprises to God. He knows our future and the events that will take place to shape us into the people He created us to be. He weaves our lives together, and His plan extends from before time through eternity. God is in control, and He has an intricate plan to hold us and move us through any crisis.

The book of Genesis closes with the story of the life of Joseph. God gave Joseph the strength to endure extremely difficult circumstances. Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and sold to Midianite traders. He became a slave of the captain of Pharaoh’s guard in Egypt. Joseph was falsely accused of rape and then thrown into prison. He helped two of Pharaoh’s servants while there, interpreting their dreams, but then was forgotten. All together, Joseph was a slave and then prisoner for 13 years.

Despite the heartbreak, loneliness, sorrow and surrounding darkness, Joseph clung to His faith in God. He doggedly grasped the hope given to him in a boyhood dream, that God would elevate him as the leader of his family. Scripture tells us that God was with Joseph (Genesis 39:2-6, 21-23). When he was Potiphar’s slave, God blessed Joseph, and he was put in charge of the entire household. When Joseph was in prison, God granted him favor, and Joseph was given responsibility over all the prisoners. God never left, in the midst of crisis. God had Joseph right where he needed to be.

God eventually delivered Joseph and made him second in command of the most powerful country in the world. Directed by God, Joseph carried out a plan to save an entire nation from a devastating famine. So terrible was the drought that his brothers came from far away to buy food. Joseph’s dream came true as his brothers bowed low before him, not knowing that they were in the presence of the boy they had horrifically abandoned years earlier. God’s plan was even bigger than Joseph’s dream. He brought faithful Joseph through the dungeon to dominance in order to save God’s chosen people, secure His covenant promise with Abraham, and rescue countless people from starvation. Later, God would bring Joseph’s descendants, and the Hebrew people, out of Egypt in such a miraculous way that the entire world, from then until now, would be reminded that God is the One True God and there is no one mightier and greater than He.

Like Joseph, we won’t always understand when crisis comes and burdens hammer at our hearts. We may become dizzy as life spins around us and trip when the darkness closes in. But, we do not have to be defeated. The Almighty King of Kings is with us, and He has a plan. We must choose to trust Him when we cannot see the end of our story. Our God is in control.

Creation from a child’s perspective

As we read Genesis chapter 1 and the beginning of chapter 2 today, we decided to take photos to help us remember what happened during the seven days of Creation. View the story from the perspective of my four- and one-year-old:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and He called the darkness “night.” Evening came, and then morning: the first day.

When it is dark in our house, we turn on the light!

Then God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters, separating water from water.” So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above the expanse. And it was so. God called the expanse “sky.” Evening came, and then morning: the second day.

The sky from our front porch this morning...overcast!

Then God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land “earth,” and He called the gathering of the water “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the earth produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit with seed in it, according to their kinds.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: seed-bearing plants according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it, according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Evening came, and then morning: the third day.

The only living plant in the house!

Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night. They will serve as signs for festivals and for days and years. They will be lights in the expanse of the sky to provide light on the earth.” And it was so. God made the two great lights—the greater light to have dominion over the day and the lesser light to have dominion over the night—as well as the stars. God placed them in the expanse of the sky to provide light on the earth, to dominate the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. Evening came, and then morning: the fourth day.

Jackson's constellation globe

Our 2011 Veggie Tales calendar

Then God said, “Let the water swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the large sea-creatures and every living creature that moves and swarms in the water, according to their kinds. [He also created] every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. So God blessed them, “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters of the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.” Evening came, and then morning: the fifth day.

This is what we could find to represent birds and fish.

Then God said, “Let the earth produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that crawl, and the wildlife of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. So God made the wildlife of the earth according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and creatures that crawl on the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Jackson and Lauren act out animals being created on Day 6.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the animals, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”

So God created man in His own image;

He created him in the image of God;

He created them male and female.

God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawl on the earth.” God also said, “Look, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the surface of the entire earth, and every tree whose fruit contains seed. This food will be for you, for all the wildlife of the earth, for every bird of the sky, and for every creature that crawls on the earth—everything having the breath of life in it. [I have given] every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. Evening came, and then morning: the sixth day.

It was good!

So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed. By the seventh day, God completed His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation.

Lauren needed some rest, so she curled up on the couch and took a nap