And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive? And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance. - Genesis 43:26-29
I encourage you to read through the entire story of Joseph, for it holds many golden nuggets, but for now, allow me to set the scene. Joseph's brothers have returned to Egypt to buy food, this time bringing their youngest brother, Benjamin, as Joseph had commanded them. Upon arriving, they are sent not to the court but to Joseph's house. Fearing they are about to be enslaved because of the money that had been in their sacks after they had come to buy food the first time, they strive to explain their predicament to the steward, who assures them that all is well. When Joseph arrives, they present him with a basket of the finest fruits and spices that they could muster up during the famine (which I imagine was a pretty pitiful offering) and bow themselves. After he asks of their welfare and that of their father, they answer his question and then bow again and worship him.
These men had been through it when they visited Joseph the first time. They knew him to be a hard man (or so they thought). At this point in time, they are each wrestling with a sea of emotions. They are afraid. Why are they being brought to his home? They are confused. Why had the steward placed their money back in their sacks? They are dealing with guilty consciences because they had already attested that all their troubles were due to their poor treatment of Joseph. But when Joseph appears before them, they don't protest. They don't argue. They don't question. They don't beg or plead their case. They answer his questions and then do the only thing they can think to do--they bow down and worship.
Oh, what a powerful lesson for us today. How many times do we wander through life tossed about by many questions and uncertainties? How will we make ends meet this month? How can I juggle everything I need to do and still have time for the things that are the most important? Why is this happening to me? What is God doing? Like the brothers, we are afraid, confused and plagued by doubt. So when we appear before God, what do we do? I don't know about you, but typically I whine, cry, pout, question and accuse. But what should I do? The same thing the brothers did. I should bow down and worship.
When I don't have a clue what's going on, that's okay. I can worship the One who does. When I don't have the answers, that's not a problem. I can praise the One who does. When I can't seem to find the way, I needn't be afraid. I can lift up the name of the One who is the Way. No matter how hard the trial, God is always worthy of my praise. Always! In fact, I believe it is through this worship that we find true peace and joy in the midst of our troubles.
James 1:2 says, My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations. Joy? Seriously? How can I possibly be glad to being going through this dark valley? By worshiping God anyway. By giving Him praise and honor. By taking my eyes off of myself and my circumstances and placing them on Him. By remembering that He is working something good in me and through me. How many times have I missed the joy that was waiting just on the other side of worship because I failed to give God the glory He deserves? How many times have you?
My dear friend, in the midst of the trials, when you don't know which way to turn or what else to do, worship God. Praise His name, even if it feels a bit insincere at the time. Don't let that stop you. Just keep praising, keeping in mind that He is worthy. There's no need to whine, cry, pout or explain. Let's learn this valuable lesson from Joseph's brothers. We simply can't go wrong with worship!