When I was in middle school, a bunch of guys played basketball after lunch. A guy named Glen was 8 inches taller than the next tallest kid. If you wanted to win, you had to get Glen on your team. Glen “had to be with you” because he was so tall that he could corral every missed shot and lay the ball back in the basket. It really didn’t matter how bad you shot, Glen could turn the ugly shot into a bucket. If you were the team that didn’t have Glen with you, you were going to lose. No matter what you did, you couldn’t overcome his height advantage.
“The Lord was with Joseph.” We saw some form of that phase 4 times in 23 verses in our passage last Sunday (Genesis 39: 2, 3, 21, 23). Why did the Lord being with Joseph matter? Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, then later was falsely accused of making a pass at his master’s wife. Those seem like two lethal blows to Joseph’s emotional and physical survival. And they might have finished Joseph, except the Lord was with Joseph. And like Glen rebounding every missed shot, God was in control of very circumstances in Joseph's life. So Joseph not only survived, but he thrived.
Jesus promised to be with us forever. In Hebrews 13:5, Jesus promised to never leave us nor forsake us. So, Jesus is with us but so often we live as if He is not. Can you imagine a basketball team with Glen, but leaving him on the bench? They end up losing a game they easily could have won if they had just played Glen. That is a picture of what we do when we forget about Jesus' presence. I pray that you will spend time in God’s Word this week growing your awareness of Jesus’ presence in your life so that the next time you face a hardship you won't lose to that hardship, but rather know that Jesus is with you.