Have you ever had that feeling that you were heading nowhere real fast? You know, you felt like you were at a dead end. You were stuck!
Sometimes I think that’s how Joseph must have felt (Genesis 40-41). At one time, he was daddy’s favorite – even had the coat of many colors to prove it. He also had some dreams (though he probably should have kept them to himself) that proved he was going to be somebody, one day.
And then the next thing he knew, his brothers attacked him, and sold him like a piece of property to some strange men who didn’t even speak his language. Then, he was taken for a foreign land, where he still couldn’t speak the language, nor did he know the customs, but was put in charge of managing a prominent officials house, because the “favor of God” (F.O.G.) was on him. Even in the face of lostness, there was a ray of hope.
But even that turned sour, as the official’s wife wanted more than him managing the household affairs (if you know what I mean). Integrity is shown when he refuses, but then is thrown into prison. How can this get any worse for doing the right thing? Ten, eleven years have past. When is this going to end?
Yet, even in prison, the “favor of God” (F.O.G.) rest on Joseph and he’s put in charge of the prison system. There he interprets two dreams. One man put to death, one man released and Joseph even asks the man to help him get out of prison. But two more years pass by before anything happens.
It’s not until the king of Egypt has a couple of dreams that Joseph is remembered and called in to interpret the dreams. After all these years, how many of us would have given up a long time before?
Next thing you know, Joseph interprets the king’s dreams and is made second in command over the entire nation. He is only subject to and answers to one – the king.
But can I tell you – Joseph isn’t put as second in command because he can interpret dreams. He’s put in charge because through the years, through different experiences, he has learned a new language, new customs. He has learned administration, cooperation, delegation. He has had to fight through conflict resolution and hone in on his organizational skills. He has got to see the big picture and work for the good of the whole.
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today:
God wastes nothing. You’re not in a holding pattern. God has not forgotten about you. He has plans for you and He will see them through. It may not happen the way you thought, but God will get you where He needs you at just the right time.
Calm my anxious mind and heart. Holy Spirit help me trust more each day the plan my Father has for me. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen
Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.