Lord, help me to listen to your Holy Spirit’s guidance as I face difficult problems. Amen
“Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds. After them, seven other cows came up—scrawny and very ugly and lean. I had never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt. The lean, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first. But even after they ate them, no one could tell that they had done so; they looked just as ugly as before. Then I woke up.
“Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, ‘God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years. The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years of famine. It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land.
“And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food.
“The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials.” Genesis 41:17-21, 25-30, 33-35, 37 (NIV)
Pharaoh had a difficult problem to solve but none of his wise men or magicians could give him answers. He finally looked to Joseph who turned to God for the solution to save the Egyptians from the severe famine that was on the horizon. All of us have faced dilemmas in our lives that are hard to solve.
When I went to Garden City Schools, they faced a real dilemma because of a huge influx of Spanish speaking students. The schools did a pretty good job of keeping the Hispanic students at grade level by the time school was out in May, but when they came back in the fall, they had fallen behind the other students significantly. After some investigation, we found out those students were not getting any of the reinforcement, academically, that the other students were getting over the summer. Lack of transportation kept them home and away from the library and other stimulating activities. Several of us prayed about a solution to the problem.
Some teachers suggested it would be great if the libraries could be brought to the Spanish speaking students, but we did not have funds for a vehicle. We let the entire staff know our dilemma and the bus drivers suggested we convert one of the buses we were retiring. The maintenance staff heard about it and volunteered to remodel a bus into a traveling library/classroom for us to use. Out of this came “BOB” or Books on the Bus (named by the bus drivers). With a driver and teacher, BOB traveled from mobile home park to mobile home park all summer long. All staff were invested in making sure all students had the opportunity to learn. God had truly given a solution to our problem.
When faced with a challenging problem, do not try to solve it on your own but follow God’s advice in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”
Lord Jesus, I praise you for the way you give the Holy Spirit to guide us to solutions for our difficult problems. Amen