God gives us opportunities to wait patiently every single day. Waiting for the line to finally move at the pharmacy, waiting for a traffic jam to clear out, or even just waiting for those delicious smelling cookies to finish baking. And every day, we do this so imperfectly. Whether it’s a 30 minute wait, one that’s year long, or the gut-wrenching year after year type of waiting we see in the story of Joseph, we can trust that God’s timing is best and look to Him for help in waiting patiently.
PATIENCE: Trusting and waiting for God in all things
MEMORY VERSE: “Yet I am confident I will see the Lord's goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord." Psalm 27: 13-14
This Week’s Finish Line: God’s timing is best so patiently wait on the Lord
After Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, there’s a misunderstanding with his boss, Potiphar and, long story short, he ends up in prison. Just when we thought things couldn’t get worse! But Genesis 39 gives us some good news: the Lord was with Joseph taking care of him the whole time! In prison, Joseph met two of the Pharaoh’s officials, his chief cupbearer and his chief baker. They both had dreams they didn’t understand and asked Joseph what they meant. Joseph knew that he couldn’t interpret their dreams on his own, but that God could help him! When the cupbearer got out of prison, Joseph asked him to remember him. Maybe things were starting to look up! But it wasn’t until TWO YEARS LATER, when Pharaoh had a dream no one understood, that the cupbearer remembered Joseph and how God helped him to understand dreams. God gave Joseph wisdom about Pharaoh’s dream and it ended up saving the whole country! Pharaoh was so grateful that he gave Joseph the job of being Pharaoh’s right-hand man. Joseph went from being a hated brother, to a slave, to a prisoner, to helping rule Egypt. Even though Joseph didn’t understand God’s timing during those 13 years, he knew God’s timing was perfect. Believe it or not, Joseph’s story STILL isn’t finished! Keep being patient and we’ll see how the story ends next week!
READ GENESIS 39:21-40:8
- How did the Lord help Joseph while he was in prison? (God showed him love, gave him favor with the guards, made everything he did succeed.)
- Do you think it was easy for Joseph to trust and patiently wait on God while he was in prison? Why or why not? What did he need to trust God for? Did he know if his waiting would ever end?
READ GENESIS 41:14-16
- Even after being sold as a slave, put into prison, and forgotten, what did Joseph still trust was true about God? (God heard him and could tell Pharaoh what the dream meant.)
READ GENESIS 41:39-46
- How did God use Pharaoh to change Joseph’s circumstances? (He brought Joseph out of prison and made him second in command over all of Egypt! Joseph was put in charge of everything, including storing up grain to prepare for the famine.)
Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: Meal Time
How does Joseph’s story end this week? (He’s in charge of all of Egypt! He has a lot of authority and gets to help make big decisions on behalf of Pharaoh) Joseph is now 30 years old. How old was he at the beginning of our story last week? (See Genesis 37:2) How many years had he patiently waited on God through tough times? (13 years!) Do you think patiently waiting always ends up with something awesome like being in charge of a whole country? How can you practice trusting that God’s timing is best and waiting patiently on Him, no matter how things turn out?
Friend: Drive Time
This week, put your kids in charge of a tally sheet and give it three sections: Early, On Time, and Late. Throughout the week, they should keep a record of how many times you arrive somewhere early, on time, or late. At the end of the week, take a look at how many there are of each. Use the record to talk with your kids about God’s perfect timing by asking questions like, “Which section has the most tally marks?” “Were we on time everywhere we went this week?” “Do you think God is ever early or late?” “Is He always right on time?” “How does this remind you that our timing in other areas of our lives isn’t 100% perfect, but God’s always is?”
What is something you feel like you are waiting on and are ready for God’s timing to be right now? Pray and thank God that He knows everything you are waiting on and that He is faithful through it all. Thank Him that His timing is always absolutely perfect and ask Him to help you to trust and wait on him in the area you mentioned.
Look up a yummy homemade bread recipe on the internet. Talk with your kids about how to bake a loaf of bread, or if you’re feeling really adventurous, find time this week to try your hand at a bread recipe with your kiddos! As you talk about or walk through the process of gathering the ingredients and the steps of the recipe, talk with your kids about how it’s similar to patiently waiting on God’s perfect timing, even when it doesn’t look like you want it to. Here are a few example questions to get you started, but feel free to come up with some of your own!
- Do you think it matters what order the steps of the recipe are in? Why? Why do you think it’s important to trust God with the order of all the things that happen in our lives?
- Which step do you think would be the hardest to have patience during? (Or which step was the hardest to wait patiently?) Is there any area in your life right now where it is hard to wait patiently on the Lord’s timing?
Before baking the bread, the recipe says to knead the dough for a while. Sometimes in life, God allows us to go through hard circumstances, just like we see in Joseph’s story. How do you think kneading the dough changes the result of the bread? (makes it light and airy when it’s baking instead of flat and tough – not as yummy!) How do you think God can use even hard situations for good in our lives?
God, thank you for being patient with us! Thank you that we can trust you in all things. Help us to remember to wait on you and remember that your timing is better! Thank you so much for sending your son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my sins so that I will live in Heaven with you one day!
Next week, we will continue in the month of April with our character trait, PATIENCE. We will be talking about trusting and waiting for God in all things!
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