“What word would I put in wood blocks on my mantel?” I knew my answer without thinking – Nourish!
Did a word pop into your mind with the question? This was a question I posed in a Thanksgiving post on blessing with our words.
The first place I began to savor the word ‘nourish‘ was in the Bible story of Joseph.
This spoiled and favored brother out of ten, who was thrown into a pit by his jealous brothers, understood times of feasting and times of famine – he’d experienced loss of his family, slavery, disappointment.
I am drawn to moments of impact – those moments that creep up on you, then change your life forever.
There is one particularly electric moment in Joseph’s story – high emotion, high drama, high stakes., that I am drawn to.
Let me tell you the story….
This is how I picture the scene – Joseph seated in Pharoah’s throneroom, next to the Pharoah himself. He has risen to this position after many years of slavery – the place his story began from the deep pit he was left to die in – to the amazing position of 2nd in command, to the Pharoah of Egypt.
From this position, enter the scene – Joseph’s ten brothers standing before him – not recognizing Joseph, because who would expect the brother that they left in a pit to be in command of the entire kingdom of Egypt?
They are here in Egypt, sent by their father, for one express purpose, to beg for food.
This is the moment.
His brothers standing before him, the same brothers who many years before threw Joseph in a hole in the ground – they are guilty – of murderous intent, of hatred, of jealousy, of injury to harm and not only guilty but, starving.
There has been a serious famine in the land – crops are non-existent, people are dying from hunger – and the only place where food is available is Pharoah’s palace, because Joseph had a dream from God that there would be a 7 year famine, so he stored up food for seven years in preparation.
This is the moment.
It echoes our natural state before God – guilty, seen for what we are – the poor choices we’ve made, our secrets and lives laid bare, we stand before God not only guilty but hungry. Hungry for that which only God can give us – life amidst our needy and broken state.
What does God say to us? What does Joseph say to his 10 cruel brothers standing desperate before him?
‘I will nourish you..’
Genesis 45:2-11 (excerpts)
Not what we expect. Not what we deserve.
Have you ever stood guilty – awaiting a verdict, a punishment – then received a blessing instead?
That’s how this story speaks to me of my own relationship with God. He sees you and I as we are, yet He welcomes us back with open arms, weeping with joy, ready to restore us to relationship – father to child – back into His family – ready to “nourish” us.
He offers us food to eat, a place to dwell, all in His presence – with Him. God blesses us – gives us abundantly more than all we need – when we least deserve it.
Why this word – nourish – at this time? Recently, I’ve been hungry, due to some food ‘issues’ (intolerance/allergies) – my physical state has brought some spiritual and emotional hungers to light for me. Going into 2017, I want to trust God to nourish me – in every area of my life.
Thanks be to God – for His willingness to nourish the hungry places in me – ‘Bless the Lord, oh my soul and all that is within me. Bless His holy name!’
** You may want to consider choosing a word for the year – a blogger habit that blesses in surprising ways. God – the Word Himself, has a way of using words to unlock hidden places in our hearts. Love to hear your word or thoughts – please share in the comments…