The Upper Room devotional reflection for Wednesday, August 10, 2022, comes to us from Henry L. Childress of Arkansas.

1 Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan. 2 This is the account of Jacob's family line. Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him. 5 Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6 He said to them, "Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it." 8 His brothers said to him, "Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?" And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said. 9 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. "Listen," he said, "I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me." 10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, "What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?" 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind. Genesis 37:1-11 NIV

We want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end. Hebrews 6:11 NRSV



As I reflect on the days of lifting weights in my youth, I remember how much I hated changing the amount of weight on the bar between lifts. Sometimes the transition between sets took longer than the lifts themselves. But now that I look back, I can see that the transitions had just as much to do with strengthening my body as the lifts did. Each time I pulled the weights off the bar and replaced them with new ones, my hands became tougher and stronger. Every time I twisted and turned with those heavy weights, my abs and obliques were getting toned. Every lift, push, pull, and twist during the transition benefited me in the long run.

Throughout the Bible, we also see times of transition. For example, when Joseph had the dream of his brothers bowing down to him, he was not given a royal position the next day. His time of transition lasted many years. But he needed that time to truly interpret his dreams and learn what it meant to be a good leader. Transitions in life are important – they are God’s way of preparing us for what is ahead.


Friends –

Times of transition can be exhilarating, frightening, and often difficult, even if the transition has been anxiously anticipated. It is often difficult to be aware of God’s presence in those times, sometimes I am only aware of that grace when I think about those times in retrospect. Only then am I able to thank God for directing my steps and sending me into the future that I was intended to follow. I invite you to recall moments of transition in your life. How was God guiding you into the future in which you now live?

--Pastor bea


Dear Lord, help us to see that the space between where we are and where we are going is necessary. May the transition make us stronger, wiser, and closer to you. Amen.

--Henry L. Childress

Prayer Focus:


Thought for the Day:

God can use my struggles to prepare me for something better.