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What Now?

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What Now?

Written by Earl Utter

"Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted Joseph up out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for 20 pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt." Genesis 37:28

As players or coaches "It" has happened to all of us. Someone else has made a decision about our future. "It", could be being traded, cut or fired. "It", is devastating when "It" happens. Usually the third question, after, "WHY?" "AND HOW DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME?" is WHAT NOW?

Since rededicating my life to Jesus, five years ago, the story of the life of Joseph has been a story from which I have drawn a great deal of inspiration and motivation. Here is a guy, just like all of us, going along doing what, I assume, is God's work for his life. Suddenly and unexpectedly, someone else changes those plans for the worse. Bam, we're cut, we're fired or let go, or your sold to a band of Ismeelites and taken off to Egypt! After you pinch yourself, just to make sure it's not a dream, you fly into a panic. We are not told what Joseph thought at the time. And we know that Joseph strived to please God in every situation he was placed into. Eventually God's plans for his life were revealed.

Another one of my biblical "Mentors" is David. David, the hero of land of Israel: the teenager who slew the nine-foot giant with a sling and a stone, the one who was "loved by Saul". David too, "a man after God's own heart", was forced to seek refuge in caves, dens and forced to act like a crazy man to save his life. His life had been threatened and he was forced to leave the safety of Saul's palace. "It", had happened to David also.

So what do we do when "It" happens? First, we need to remember God and what he has done for us in the past. David reminds us in Psalm 77: 9-11: Hath God forgotten to be gracious? Hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. And I said, this is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I look at my career as a coach and say "how did I get here?" Then I remember it was God that put me here.

Second, trust in God: although there are many verses for this, I like Psalm 34:22 The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate. For me it speaks of his strengthening power and that He will surround us with, not only His wings, but He will bring others around us to pray for and encourage us.

Third pray. Philippians 4: 6-7 reminds us: Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. God knows what we are going through. He was rejected by the very people He brought out of Egypt. He understands the pain of rejection. Look to Him for peace and understanding.

Finally, remember that God has a plan for how He wants to use our lives. Jeremiah 29: 11 (ESV) states; "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." God uses people to accomplish His plans for our lives. We may not see it, but Joseph reminds us in Genesis, 50:20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Rejoice in "It" and look to the future with a hope.

Joseph and David are not biblical mentors of mine because of the tragedies they went through. All though that is some of the reason, but each has been used of God to inspire me when "It" happened. Joseph, by demonstrating how a person of God, carries themselves when "It" happened to him. God used the pen of David to guide and inspire me by the written word. I praise God that He used these men of old as mentors and as guides to help answer my question of "What Now".

Discussion Questions

  1. What was your first thought when "It" happened to you?
  2. Where did you find solace when "It" happened to you?
  3. Did you search yourself when "It" happened to you?
  4. What did you find?
  5. What verses did you use to get you through "It"?
  6. Who inspired you when "It" happened?

Additional Reading

  1. Proverbs 3: 5-6
  2. Psalm 62: 1-8
  3. Joshua 1: 9
  4. Matthew 14: 27 - 32

About the Author

Earl Utter is in the final year of his coaching contract as the Head Coach of the Women's Hockey team at SUNY Cortland.  God has blessed him immensely by allowing him to work in the lives of young people.

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