I spent some time this past fall reading up on Joseph. O how I love this story. Joseph: a bratty, tattle-tale, dreamer, who shares his dreams with his family that simply adds to his brothers’ jealousy and their hatred as plots of murder unfold (I can’t get over how much they wanted to put him in his place and prove him wrong – about them, about himself). God brought Joseph low literally as his brothers’ throw him in a pit, with intentions to kill, but decide in a moment of “compassion” to sell him into slavery instead.
Once in Egypt he is falsely accused of sexual advances/rape even though he walked away from her. Like a God-fearing man he refused to be tempted, kept his distance, and finally (literally) ran from his boss’ wife.
This event found him imprisoned for years!
But all along the way God brought favor upon Joseph. His tasks as a slave and then as a servant in the jail became positions where he was placed in charge of others – a trusted leader. Everything he touched prospered. When he was finally placed into the position God intended for him to have (right below Pharaoh), a place that would save many people – Joseph’s family – we can see how the pieces all fit. God was putting the parts into place that would put Joseph right where He needed him to be at just the right time.
None of those pieces came easily, everyone of those little buggers hurt like hell. But it seems as though he did not despair (at least not for long) or allow his heart to be hardened and turn to blame God.
I wonder how often Joseph wondered -
But hoping and wondering how all of what he had walked through would be redeemed, make sense, and somehow fit into a bigger plan?
“God, this has got to make sense in the end.” (my words)
How were his skills as an overseer, leader who did not need managed, trusted worker, dream interpreter and more – how would his life make sense in the future? Would it ever?
How would the pieces fit?
Perhaps he felt in his core that he was meant for something bigger than slave, servant, dead son… and he could not “see” how it would all work out.
How will the pieces of my life fit in the end?
That is right where I have been – in the back of my thoughts: How will all these pieces of me (some burned and scarred) bring God glory?
These words speak to me:
Joseph: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” (Genesis 50:20)
Paul: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Paul: “…for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29)
Jesus: “For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.” (Luke 8:17)
It has been four years since the dreams came crashing and our world went swirling. And we are still here. We moved here to be a part of a certain people, to love and serve and live. But what happens after the pit-pushing (this is my first real post after the hurting) and the face turning (when a mentor hurts you) and the circles get so small (Church women gone wrong) that they push you right out the church door? We didn’t move here to be a part of this group or that church or that place over there. We didn’t move here to “church shop.”
We didn’t ask for things to be broken…. how will it be redeemed?
And now that all of the doors have been slammed shut – we wait for God to say, “Go. Move. Over here. There is no more waiting. You are done circling the mountain. I have brought you out to bring you in… right there.”
Somehow – someway – somewhere – someday the pieces will all fit and make sense and reveal the bigger picture… but what am I going to do until then? What am I going to do while I am misunderstood? Flung into pits? Stripped of status symbols? Forsaken? Rejected? What am I going to do when the name calling begins? What do I do when I am left for dead? Sold for coins? Sent down to Egypt as a slave? What will I say when I am falsely accused? Thrown into prison?
What will you say about God – to God when the pieces do not make sense?
When you are lonely and afraid?
What will you do when your gifts are used by people, and then forgotten?
What will you do when others reject you because you refuse to toe their line?
What will I do when that call finally comes… will I be brave or afraid to speak again? Will I sit on my hands and refuse? Will I still be clinging to my God? Will I even be able to hear Him? Will I cross my arms and throw a fit refusing to follow because I don’t like the call that comes?
Maybe you are in prison literally or figuratively – enslaved – forgotten – rejected – afraid?
And while you wait for things to be made clear, for redemption to come, for the pieces to fit and make sense…
What are you believing about God? How are you reacting? Is your journey being hindered by doubt or fear? Is someone watching you – manipulating you – are you “hunted”? Is someone attempting to mutilate your choices, and in the process produce all sorts of conflict in your heart & life?
Consider the source. Pray like crazy. Seek God until..
It’s time to till the ready earth,
it’s time to dig in with God,
Until he arrives
with righteousness ripe for harvest.” (Hosea 10:12 - it is interesting to read this in context)