Housebound? The Lord Is With You!

houseboundIf you are housebound or exhausted it can be hard to understand how God use you. Kerryn shares.

“Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison . . . ” (Genesis 39:20)

So many of us with chronic invisible illnesses are housebound. It’s one of the hardest aspects of illness for me.

Outings, other than appointments for my health, are just not possible. The chronic fatigue syndrome has left me with little to no energy for the most basic daily routines. Added to that, multiple chemical sensitivities have caused major illness responses to everyday scents that people wear.

I have just read Genesis 39 and have related to it in a whole new way. I’ve often felt sorry for Joseph, but today I heard the Lord speak to me, in my own situation, of being housebound.

  • Joseph was misunderstood by Potiphar. How often do we feel misunderstood?!
  • Joseph was sent to the King’s prison and isolated from the world’s affairs. The housebound are also isolated from the world’s affairs.
  • Joseph had no family or friends there to encourage or support him. Through isolation we become removed from those that are our support network, often losing close friends.

We could remain focused on these same things, which could lead to deeper depression, bitterness, anger, or grief.

However, it’s not the end of the story with Joseph–or with us! Verse 20 is left incomplete and what God wants to say to us follows in verses 21-23:

. . . the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.

Oh, the joy in reading this! We are not alone. The Lord is with us! He shows us kindness and favor? He gives us responsibilities towards others in the same situation. We have a responsibility to love and care for others in like situations through prayer, the internet, and any other forms available to us.

Rest Ministries is one of those places to love and care for others.

What a beautiful last line: the Lord gave Joseph “success in whatever he did.” He does that for us too. It may not look the way we want it, but it’s “success” in the Lord’s eyes.

The Matthew Henry Commentary concludes this section with:
“A good man will do good wherever he is, and will be a blessing even in bonds and banishment; for the Spirit of the Lord is not bound nor banished.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for Your Word that speaks right into our own situations to comfort us. Thank You that You are with us in our confinement and that your Holy Spirit cannot be “bound nor banished.” Use us, Lord! Amen.

About the Author:
Kerryn Wright lives with her family amongst the gum trees in South Australia. She was a special education teacher prior to chronic illnesses. Her husband is carer for three of their family, who have chronic illnesses and disabilities. God has always guided them through life’s challenges, often in surprising ways.

How does Joseph’s story speak into your situation? The Holy Spirit in us is not “bound nor banished,” so what does that mean for you during illness and confinement?

There are days when we wonder what God’s plan could be. How can He make something out of this life we are leading? Out of us, with so little energy? Out of us, who sin and snap and backslide? Because we are His children and He will forever lay down His life for us.

This is why He did it! Not because we are perfect, but because we are His. I love this song, “Lay Down My Life” with Sidewalk Prophets. I think you will like it and it has some pretty beautiful lyrics. -Lisa

10 Responses to Housebound? The Lord Is With You!

  1. Dear Kerryn,
    I praise God for using you to love and care for others ‘in like situations’ through Rest Ministries. Thanks so much for this devotional. I may not be homebound, but I can identify with significant fatigue. Often I feel I’m off the hook with “a responsibility to love and care for others in like situations” reasoning God knows how hard it is for me just to function. Your words convicted and inspired me. Your example re-energizes me to reach out to others even when I’m to tired. The passage in Genesis 39 reminds me God will provide the words, clarity of thought, and stamina needed.
    Grace and peace to you, dear friend.

  2. Kerryn what an inspirational devotion. I loved how you uze those verses in Genius to show us even in the adversity of illnes and fatigue, God desires us to be His voice and express His love, compassion and truth. He knows our limitations but as you said the Holy Spirit is not bound as we are. I am so thankful for your choice to minister here at RM, thank you for your obedience and all the encouragement you give not only me but others. God bless diane

  3. Kerryn, Thank you for another inspirational devotional, yes its opened my eyes to hear what the Spirit of The Lord wants me to hear. Being a single mom I am often feeling guilty for being so ill as I am unable to work for the past 3 years after my hysterectomy/cancer. I have been the one to shoulder all the burdens and being forced to rest has not been easy emotionally,I am now dependent on my son and mother but I do have internet, I am by nature a compassionate and merciful woman and feel the pain others are going through now that I am actually living with chronic pain I relate to others and often encourage them.With my illness I feel trapped and in prison; like Joseph I am not trapped spiritually because the Lord is with me .Thank you for the devotional! Rest Ministries is a blessing to me and I am so grateful God led me to this site.God Bless You!!

  4. Thank You Kerryn, This really opened my eyes to the part inwhich Joseph was in charge of or had duty to those who were in his same circumstance! It is actually a responsibility to comfort with the comforted given to us! One of those obvious truths that just opened wide for me in your given example. And you, friend are faithful in that! Your encouragement and graphic go all over the globe when you are rarely beyond your bed or recliner. How amazing is that! Only God could manage such a thing! Blessings.

  5. Thank you, Kerryn!

    God has lately been repeatedly drawing my attention back to Joseph’s story.

    It has been a favorite of mine since childhood.
    I always adored Joseph for his faithful response to so very many painful events in his life.

    That being said, this is the first time I have been made aware of the parallels that you so aptly pointed out.

    I will go now to Genesis 39, and re-read it through my own lense of illness.

    Thank you too, that, like Joseph, you are also faithful to use your giftings to encourage, cheer, and minister the mercies and encouragements of God to so many others.

    For we, too, are sometimes in a famine, hungering & thirsting as we journey hand in hand through the wilds of chronic illness. <3

  6. Dear Vicki, thanks for your incredibly encouraging words. I’m thankful that God has used the gems that inspired me that day to inspire you too. God is good.

    It’s so cool when God “provides the words, clarity of thought, and stamina needed” when He’s prompting us to reach out. However, there sure are times where it’s not only ok to rest, it’s needed! I’ve just taken a week off of RM to care for me, after ignoring several prompts from God to REST! It was sooooo needed & now I feel more refreshed in my spirit & soul……even though the body remains the same! 😉 Thanks again dear friend. God bless. Lotsoluv Kerryn

  7. Awweee Diane….. your words really encouraged me. Thanks. :-)

    Now I have to confess to having a chuckle at your words of “those verses in Genius!” 😉 Then I thought that was the perfect way to describe that passage of scripture! It was THE Genius writing to encourage us all in His Word. Don’t you love the way that God uses our slip ups to speak volumes. Honestly, that spoke heaps to me, so thank you. God bless. Lotsoluv Kerryn ♥

  8. Thanks Brigitte. :-)

    Oh I am sorry to read of all that you’re going through. You are dealing with much. Praise God that He is there to help shoulder your load. How do people manage without Him?!

    I’m so very excited & encouraged to read: “its opened my eyes to hear what the Spirit of The Lord wants me to hear.” Love how His Holy Spirit does that. I’m thankful that God led you to RM too. It sure is a special place. I’m sure that you will inspire & encourage many, just as you have done in your comments to me. May God bless you in this journey, as He sets you free to soar with His Holy Spirit. :-) Gentle hugs. Lotsoluv Kerryn ♥

  9. Dear Elizabeth, thank you! :-)

    I praise God that it’s “one of those obvious truths that just opened wide for me in your given example.” It was such a new look into that story for me & like you it “just opened wide for me” when God revealed it. I love those “aha moments” with God’s Word!

    Thanks for your beautiful words of encouragement. I soooooo love encouraging graphics & it’s a joy to share them. It’s amazing how God can set me free from my bed & recliner, through the internet, all over the world, as you said: “Only God could manage such a thing!” God is good. Gentle hugs. ♥ Lotsoluv Kerryn

  10. Thanks Lesetta, for your encouraging words. :-)

    WOW! How amazing that Joseph’s story is a fave of yours yet: “this is the first time I have been made aware of the parallels that you so aptly pointed out.” Praise God for this fresh new gem from Him for you. Yes, I think I’ll always look at this story in a new way.

    Your words are soooooooo true for us all: “For we, too, are sometimes in a famine, hungering & thirsting as we journey hand in hand through the wilds of chronic illness.” Yes, this is a journey to encourage & cheer each other on, as He continues to free us from our “prisons” through His Holy Spirit. God bless you dear friend. Lotsoluv Kerryn ♥

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