During my college years, a friend of mine was doing her Duke of Edinburgh’s award, and had to lead a walking venture. She asked me to take part, and six of us did a 4-day hike around the Peak District, stopping at youth hostels. One hostel we stayed at had some staffing problems, and being as how our faces looked trustworthy, they asked us if we could help with making the supper for a large group who had booked in for meals, and serve in the rather depleted ‘shop’. We set to, and put together a decent meal, which we were invited to partake of ourselves. (I don’t know if that was to ensure it would be edible!) As it happened, we’d run very low on food to cook for ourselves, and the meagre offerings in the hostel ‘shop’ would not have been adequate to make anything decent, so it turned out rather convenient for us. There were others, however, obviously much wealthier than us poor students, who had not booked in for meals, and could not buy anything to cook either, who were somewhat disgruntled that day – and possibly somewhat hungry too! I remember thinking then of Mary’s song in Luke 1:53 – “He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.”
It was a bit like that for Joseph’s family in Genesis 47:11-13. He looked after them well, and gave them the best Egypt had to offer, and provided for them, according to their needs. Meanwhile, the Egyptians themselves were beginning to suffer the pangs of famine, as their money was depleting. The children of Israel had their needs met in a place of dire need, simply because of who they were.
And it occurs to me, that God our father will look after us, whatever our personal finances, or the global economy. Not because we have written a brilliant blog, or gone to church three times every Sunday. Not because we are a pastor or great theologian. Not because we are rich and have tithed faithfully. Not even because we’ve been serving God for many years. But simply because we are his children. It’s all about relationship. It’s all about trusting him in the lean times as well as the times of plenty. Simply because he is our father, and he loves his children, and he has promised. And isn’t it such a thrill, when he provides something we could not have got for ourselves!