In this second week of What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do, we discussed the moments in life when something difficult happens seemingly out of nowhere. The more of life that we experience, the more we come to understand that these things will occur at some point. One of the first things I can remember like this was the sudden death of my grandmother. She had a minor procedure done that had some complications, and she passed away the next day. It was an unexpected event in my family. One of the most challenging things about these situations is the fact that it was unexpected. These situations often leave us asking the question, "what now?" Where do we go from here? Sometimes we may even question if God is in the situation at all.
We are addressing these thoughts and feelings by looking at the life of Joshua. In Genesis 37, we see Joshua's life turn from good to bad, to worse. Joseph's brothers grow jealousy in their hearts against their brother. Scripture tells us that Joseph was his father, Jacob's, favorite son, and, as a result, was given a special robe to symbolize this fact. Joseph begins having dreams of his family bowing down to him. Of course, his brothers do not like this and plot to kill their brother. Instead of killing Joseph, they ultimately decide to sell him into slavery. This is where we end the story this week. It is a difficult place to end a story. Like many of the difficult things that happen in our lives, there may not be a quick resolution. Like Joseph in this situation, our lives may feel uprooted by uncertainty, pain, loss, and grief. These times lead us to ask, “what now?” Of course, we are reading a story found in God's word, and there is hope! A little later, in Joseph's story Genesis 39:2a says, "The Lord was with Joseph."
There will be moments in our life when we have no idea how to change the circumstances in which we find ourselves. This week we are not looking to change the circumstances; we are looking to change the way we look at them. In these trying times, we must always remember that God is with us. It is a simple but powerful thing to remember. God is still at work in the lives of people today as He was for those in the bible. God is still with us.
This week I want to encourage you to talk with your teens about this. Are there experiences that you have had where you did not know what to do? How was God with you in that process? Ask them how they would handle such a situation? Let them know that they are not alone in those times. Also, remember that you are not alone in those moments. We here at Asbury students are here for you and your family. We want to support you as these things occur in your lives. God is with you and loves you.
Ways to engage with your teens this week:
How do you respond to the unexpected?
Is there anything that you are afraid of happening?
How do we know God is with us?
How you respond to the unexpected?
How you know that God is with you? Give some examples.