THE LEAN YEARS


The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.” Genesis 41:53-55


With a world economy staggering toward depression, we are certainly going into the lean years. The unemployment number in the US (30 million) bears witness to that fact. Most people do not know how to handle this “lean year” because they never expected things to get so bad. Consequently, the number of people that are food insecure has increased dramatically in the last couple of months.


During this lean year, people are not only hungry for physical food; they also hunger for spiritual food. Far more people are struggling with depression, addiction, and a sense of hopelessness. Others are feeling defeated and discouraged because they are not able to pay their bills and put food on the table for their families. They need hope, peace, and joy that only God can provide.


In today’s text, the Egyptians are instructed by Pharaoh to go to Joseph so they can get grains to eat during the famine. Joseph had oversight over the food program in Egypt. He wisely stored up vast quantities of grain in anticipation of the lean years. The people in the land did not have the foresight to do the same. Consequently, when the famine came, they struggled to find grains to eat.


COVID-19 has not only caused a health crisis, but it has also triggered an economic catastrophe that this country hasn’t experienced since the great depression, which lasted from 1929 to 1939. Many people will come to us as they went to Joseph to satisfy their spiritual hunger. They may also need us to help satisfy their physical hunger.


God has positioned you and me to be Joseph during this lean year. People will come to us for spiritual nourishment as they try to make sense of the death of their loved ones, and the economic hardship they are facing. Many will ask us to pray for them and their loved ones. They will want to know what the word of God has to say in times like these.


It is, therefore, necessary for our spiritual storehouses to be filled so we can share with others out of the abundance of what God has stored in us. That means we have to study the word of God more faithfully and pray more fervently. We have to reach out to others and check on their wellbeing more consistently. When possible, we may also have to share our financial resources with those facing financial hardship.


Perhaps you are a believer whose storehouse is empty for one reason or another. Take the time to fill your storehouse during this lean year through prayer, meditation, and study of the word of God. Make sure to be a good steward of your finances in anticipation of leaner months ahead. Most of all, trust God and let Him use you as a storehouse of hope to those who are struggling to make it day by day.


Prayer- Blessed Lord, please open the heart of disciples of Jesus Christ so they can be your storehouse of hope, encouragement, and love to those who are unable to cope with these hard times.

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