The water in our apartment building often gets turned off. Sometimes for just a few hours. Sometimes for a whole day or longer. There are times that we get news in advance that our water will be out for a day or two, and we have time to fill up buckets, pitchers, bowls, and even our fill-from-the-top washing machine – so that we can be ready for the “drought” with a stored-up water supply in the kitchen and bathroom.
Other times we are not prepared and we end up with a growing stack of dirty dishes in the sink and a stinky bathroom until the water comes back on. It has made us appreciate water in a new way. We don’t take it for granted because we often go for stretches without it.
In the Old Testament, God gave Joseph the ability to interpret Pharaoh’s disturbing dreams so that the Egyptians would be prepared for the coming drought. During the seven years of abundance that would come first, they could store up grain to be prepared for the following seven years of famine.
They were ready—through God’s grace.
During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully. Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure. (Genesis 41:47-49)
When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. And all the countries came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph because the famine was severe in all the world. (v. 56-57)
Charly relates this story from Genesis with the number of Bible verses he memorized during college (a whole lot!). Those years of great spiritual input were a time of storing up in abundance. And during the more spiritually dry years that followed, he was able to take advantage of all the Truth stored up in his heart and mind. An example of God’s grace in Charly’s life.
What has God stored up for us as believers?
How great is your goodness which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you. (Psalm 31:19)
From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. (John 1:16)
I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17b-19)
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)