God Is with Us — No Matter WhatDecember 9, 2021 - 12:00 am
“I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.” — Genesis 46:4
Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Vayigash, which means “and he approached,” from Genesis 44:18–47:27.
Have you ever felt abandoned by God? So many people going through difficult times question whether God is with them as they struggle. It’s important for us to remember that God never promised us that there would be no tough times in life, that we would never experience any pain.
If you think about it, God is just like any good parent. He wants us to be strong. He wants us to stand on our own. As a mother, is it my job to see to it that my child never faces any hardship? Parents who take pains to shield their kids from all struggles or pain are actually doing their children a disservice. Of course, we must let our children know that we will always be there for them, but this doesn’t mean that they won’t have tough times.
This reminds me of Psalm 23, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” (v.4). God doesn’t prevent us from experiencing difficulties, but His promise is that He is there with us, no matter what.
God Is with Us — No Matter What
We see God’s promise to be with us during dark times in this week’s Torah portion. Jacob was on his way to Egypt to live out his remaining years there. As he set out on his journey, he knew that this descent to Egypt was the beginning of the long and difficult exile that God had foretold to Abraham in Genesis: “Then the LORD said to him, ‘Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there” (15:13).
Knowing this, Jacob must have been filled with apprehension. So God appeared to Jacob not to tell him that the children of Israel would be spared the slavery and oppression. Rather, God’s message to Jacob was that He would be right there with them in their suffering.
God’s message to Jacob is His message to each and every one of us. While every life brings tough times, God is with us through it all — no matter what.
Your turn: Are you or a loved one going through a difficult time? Take time to speak to God and draw strength from the knowledge that He is here.