I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook the other day when I stopped on a video a friend had posted. She was telling a story about a time when she made the mistake of trying to clean her solid wood dining room table with a steam cleaner. To be honest, I had questions. Was it a hand-held steam cleaner? What had led her to the point that a sponge or paper towel was no longer enough to clean the table? How dirty could her table have possibly been to require such tools? 

She answered none of those questions but did proceed to share that, in the process of cleaning her table with a steam cleaner, and despite all of her best intentions, the table was ruined. The heat from the steam turned the wood white, and now she was in panic mode. When your best plans fall through and result in a minor disaster, how do you fix it? Her answer came in the form of a DIY supply she had purchased but never used and whose sole reason for existence was restoration. 

Somehow, on a random shelf in her garage, she already had exactly what she needed to restore what had been damaged so that it would look new again. (Spoiler: it worked!)

In our reading today we see that God had prepared in advance for the restoration He knew would be needed, but His answer came in the form of a person. Joseph was part of God’s plan all along. The famine was no surprise to God. The dreams God gave Joseph as a young man were no mistake, and the life Joseph led prepared him to lead the entire country through a devastating season. 

God restored the relationship between Joseph and his family. Because of Joseph’s faithful service to the Pharaoh, Joseph’s family was richly blessed with the best land in Egypt, jobs, and food for the entire household. And the entire country benefited from Joseph’s preparation leading up to the famine. For seven years he stored the excess grain so that when the famine began, he would be prepared to sell food to the Egyptians. When the people no longer had money to buy grain, Joseph traded for their livestock—increasing Pharaoh’s property while feeding the people. And when there was no more livestock to trade, Joseph purchased land from the Egyptians, giving them money for food, increasing Pharaoh’s territory again. 

Joseph prepared, and God restored. 

“By me kings reign,

and by me potentates decree righteousness;

by me princes rule,

as well as nobles and all righteous judges.

I will love those who love me,

and those who seek me diligently will find me.” – Proverbs 8:15–17

By the time the famine began, it had been twenty years since Joseph’s brothers sold him for twenty pieces of silver to the Midianite merchants. God placed Joseph in Egypt on purpose, for His purposes. His story shows that God is faithful to keep His promises (the dreams Joseph had did, in fact, come true), and He cares about our restoration and relationships. One day Jesus would come to provide full restoration, but we get a glimpse of what is to come as we read about Joseph.

Maybe, like me, you’ve been praying for restoration. Whatever has been lost or broken, trust God to restore it in His perfect time. While we wait, let’s look for ways to prepare our hearts to fully receive that restoration as we love God greatly and grow closer to Him.

Week 6 Challenge:

Jacob displayed great faith in God’s promises even though he did not see them fully realized in his lifetime. This week, take time to find a few verses about God’s promises for His people. Write them on a notecard and place them around your home to remind you of God’s faithfulness and promise-keeping character.

Week 6 Reading Plan

Week 6 Memory Verse

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Crystal Stine

Crystal Stine

Crystal Stine is the author of Holy Hustle, Quieting the Shout of Should, and the Holy Hustle Planner. She serves as the Communications and Online Director for her church and has a passion for using social media as a mission field to reach as many as possible for Christ. You can connect with Crystal online at crystalstine.me, get a sneak peek of her first books through several YouVersion reading plans, or find her on Instagram @crystalstine. Crystal lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter.

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