Felt Presence


Genesis 45:1-15

So it was God who sent me here, not you! And He is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt (v.8).

Hearing an infant cry at bedtime can be one of the most unnerving situations for young parents to handle. When my wife and I first encountered this phenomenon, we struggled to resist the urge to go into our baby’s room and console her little heart. We would peek through the door from time to time—making sure she wasn’t actually hurt or in danger—but we refrained from going in.

Why do parents put their infants (and themselves) through such misery? Because, among other reasons, we’re giving our little ones the opportunity to learn that the world doesn’t revolve around them. (Okay, maybe it does when they’re infants, but we don’t want them to know it!)

We also refrain from picking up newborns every time they whimper, helping them to develop a resiliency that will aid them later as they move through difficult situations. And even though it might not have seemed like it, we were with our kids through all the sobs and tears.

Likewise, we may not feel God’s presence in the midst of difficult times, but that doesn’t mean He’s not there— working behind the scenes. Joseph was a person who had reasons to feel like God wasn’t present in his life. His jealous brothers sold him into slavery (Genesis 37:12-28). Then he was carted off to a foreign land where he was sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit (39:1-20).

But even in an Egyptian prison “the Lord was with [him]” (vv.20-21). As Joseph would explain many years later to his brothers who had betrayed him, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people” (50:20).

God is there, even when His presence isn’t immediately felt.

—Jeff Olson


On more than one occasion, Joseph stressed to his brothers that it was God, not they, who sent him to Egypt. Re-read Genesis 45:4-8.


When did God’s providential hand work in your life in a way that you didn’t initially see? How have you felt God’s presence recently?


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