Our children have learned Bible stories from a very young age. They know Mary and Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Paul, and of course, Jesus. When we began to take seriously the idea of stocking up on groceries and gearing up for a future full of uncertainties, we decided it was time to reintroduce our kids to the story of Joseph.
Joseph, as you may recall, was pivotal in Egyptian history as a Hebrew prime minister who helped prepare the country for seven years of drought and famine. Led by God-given dreams to the Pharaoh, Joseph directed a massive food storage program that would put my own to shame! As a result, not only were the lives of the Egyptian people saved, but there was enough food for people in neighboring countries, including Joseph’s own family.
Our kids had a lot of questions as they saw extra shelving go up in the play room. Eventually those shelves were filled to overflowing with everything from canned ravioli to dried beans. “What is all this food for?” they wanted to know. One evening we sat down and reviewed Joseph’s story with them. A few key, relevant points jumped out as we talked.
- Joseph understood the signs that difficult times were coming. Although we don’t know exactly what lies ahead, our eyes and ears tell us that it’s time to prepare.
- Joseph kept adding a little each day, each week, and over time it added up to enough food for an entire country. Our jars of peanut butter and cans of tuna may not look like much, but when we add a little each week, it will soon be enough to last for a long time.
- Joseph’s food wasn’t for now, it was for later. No, we can’t dig into those boxes of granola bars right now! They’re for later!
- Joseph shared. Because of his foresight, planning and doing, there was enough food stored for everyone, including hungry neighbors. Our food storage isn’t something selfish, meant only for our family. We hope to have plenty to share.
Kids want and need to understand what is going on around them. The story of Joseph is a beautiful illustration of what your family is doing to prepare for the future, and it will go a long way to help your kids understand and allay any fears they might have. Revisit the story in Genesis 41 or watch, “Joseph, Prince of Egypt”, an excellent animated film of the famous story.
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