I will admit, part of me enjoyed the peace and quiet, all too rare with three toddlers in the house. I was able to read as much of a book as I wanted uninterrupted. The car ride was peaceful and the radio stayed on the station I wanted to listen to. I didn't have to take anyone to the potty and I didn't have to change a single diaper all weekend. It was nice.
But then I tried to fall asleep. I didn't realize how accustomed I had become to having someone else in the bed with me. I tossed and turned all night and laid awake for hours. I discovered I don't really like sleeping alone. I like to know someone is with me.
I don't think I'm alone. I think most people like to know someone is with us.
I was reminded of my sleepless night while reading the drama of Joseph's life. Joseph rode a roller coaster of favor and famine. From his father's favored son to his brother's pit. Then from the pit and slavery to Potiphar's house. From Potiphar's house to prison then from prison to the throne.
I was particularly taken by a verse about Joseph's time in prison. The Bible says that, "God was with Joseph and showed him stedfast love and gave him favor" (Gen. 39:20-23, ESV). In prison.
Most of us think we've been abandoned by God when we're in the pit. God showed Joseph "stedfast love" and was with him. It's often difficult, when you're living in the graybar motel, to feel as if you've been shown stedfast love and favor. And yet, He is with us.
We often don't even know it but He's with us. We must not judge the two disciples on the road to Emmaus too harshly because we've all walked in their shoes. Distraught, confused and completely unaware that while we deliberate the dilemma we're in He is walking with us.
The most common promise in scripture is not that He will heal us, though He will. It is not that He will deliver us, though He is a deliverer. It is not that He will provide for us, though He does bless His children.
The most common promise in scripture is, "I will be with you." Even the promised name the angels declared was "Emmanuel" which being interpreted is "God with us" (Matt. 1:23).
So, as a friend once advised me, if you come to a fork in the road, take it. Because no matter where you go, He is with us.