God’s Incredible Plan Includes Your Ordinary Days

The Dothan Valley shows how our God wastes no experience in our lives.

Sometimes the ordinary days make us wonder if God has forgotten us. After all, when we read the Bible (or Facebook), it all seems so exciting. God is working! Our lives, on the other hand, seem exceedingly boring.

Your Natural Stuff in God's Marvelous Plan

(Photo: Dothan Valley, where Joseph’s brothers sold him. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

But the events in Joseph’s ordinary day in the Dothan Valley revealed God behind the scenes.

Jacob’s 10 oldest sons had traveled north to pasture their father’s flocks at Shechem. So Jacob dispatched Joseph, whom he loved more than all his other sons, from the Valley of Hebron to check on their welfare.

When Joseph arrived, he found that his brothers had moved further north to the lush pastures of Dothan. Seeing him in the distance, the brothers—jealous of their father’s love for Joseph—purposed to kill the boy. But the presence of a nearby cistern convinced them instead to hurl Joseph into it—and leave him there to die (see Genesis 37:12-28).

It seemed that God dropped the ball. But His painful providence would prove wiser than Joseph’s limited insight.

The same is true for you. God uses your ordinary days in His marvelous plan.

Providence in the Natural

Providentially, the international highway that ran from Syria to Egypt split three ways as it snaked through the Mount Carmel range. One of these passes ran through Dothan, right where the brothers were. So when they noticed a caravan of Ishmaelite traders taking their wares to Egypt, they decided to sell Joseph as a slave rather than to kill him.

The Lord used the natural features of the land as a part of His supernatural plan for Joseph’s life:

  • The lushness of Dothan
  • The nearby cistern
  • The timely caravan headed south
  • The international highway

All natural stuff in a marvelous plan God blended together to produce His blessing.

Flocks in the Dothan Valley

(Photo: Flocks in the Dothan Valley. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Your Natural Stuff in God’s Marvelous Plan

Our Sovereign God wastes no experience in our lives. All fit tightly within the workings of His will—which we can never comprehend.

Looking at our ordinary days, we often only see a flat tire, an angry boss, and an unfair job dismissal. In our pain, we can easily misinterpret God’s dealings as unfair—or even cruel—when in fact He intends them to benefit us beyond our dreams. As Paul wrote:

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! —Romans 11:33

We glorify God when we worship Him even in our confusion, trusting a wise heavenly Father who uses each event for our good and for His glory.

Question: How has God’s providence surprised you for the good? To leave a comment, just click here.

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This post is adapted from Wayne’s book, Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible.

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