Debbie Reese - August 12, 2018

Faith in the Pit

The Way, Way Back

God’s Dream is inevitable, but it’s not always easy to achieve. How do we stay faithful to God even when we’re in the pits? Joseph’s journey to Pharaoh’s court illustrates a life of integrity and faithful hope in a God who is always with us and working – even in the pit!

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This sermon was written and delivered by Debbie Reese.

Music is a universal language for all. One of my favorite artists says it like this: “Funny how a melody sounds like a memory.” When I hear a melody, memories flood over me. No matter what mood I am in, where I am, what situation I’ve been through, what I have experienced, when I hear that song, I can picture the time, place, outfit, who I was with, the road I was driving on or situation I was in. Do you have songs, artists or lyrics that does that to you?

I have literally traveled tens of thousands of miles throughout my life across the United States.  During these way, way back round trips music was always a staple. What is a road trip with0ut good music to keep you company?Those roads would have been lonely without the radio to scan through and find more songs to be my friend on the trips back and forth to Lubbock to care for my dad or the family trips growing up as a kid with my parents’ minivan 8 track singing along, or the top five songs that played the summer of 2013 when my family of four took our summer vacation to Galveston.  We still can hear those songs on the radio today and talk about the memories of that trip together!

We’re going to be exploring the next chapter of Joseph’s story today. When I sat down to write this sermon, I wanted to find a song that might have be on his playlist during that time. Probably at the top of the list was Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”

Hear that lonesome whippoorwill
He sounds too blue to fly
The midnight train is whining low
I’m so lonesome I could cry

I’ve never seen a night so long
When time goes crawling by
The moon just went behind the clouds
To hide its face and cry

Did you ever see a robin weep
When leaves began to die?
Like me, he’s lost the will to live
I’m so lonesome I could cry

The silence of a falling star
Lights up a purple sky
And as I wonder where you are
I’m so lonesome I could cry

In this song, we don’t know why Hank Williams is sad. He doesn’t tell us who left him alone or why. The situation is vague, but the feeling of loneliness, of sadness isn’t. No wonder this song is iconic – it has become an anthem for sadness!! Misery loves company! Anyone who’s ever been lonely can feel his loneliness. We can tell it is always dark when he feels lonely because he shares with his the dark sky, the clouds and the moon going behind them to cry.

Who is this “you” he talks about?  Who do you think it might be? Is it so ambiguous that it could be God? When I hear Hank Williams’ voice and songs I can just feel his pain and sorrow through the sound of his voice, guitar and lyrics much like you can feel Joseph’s pain throughout these chapters we will discuss today.

We’re going to ask the question: what does faithfulness look like when we’re so lonely we could cry? When it feels like even God has abandoned us, when we’re in a pit or prison of despair, how do we remain faithful to God’s call? And we’ll see that God is with us, even in the pit, even when we can’t sense God’s presence.

Faithfulness begins by trusting God is always working.

Join us Sunday as we learn how to find God even in our lowest places.

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