Life Lessons: Joseph
Reading: Genesis 41
I. HATE. WAITING. I hate it with a burning fiery passion deep in my soul. Everything within me recoils against having to wait for something or someone so naturally the majority of my Christian journey has been built around moments of waiting that have grown my faith and strengthened my trust in God but I can promise you, it hasn’t been easy.
Joseph was waiting. He was waiting to be remembered. He was waiting to be released. He was waiting to be restored. When we pick up Joseph’s story in chapter 41, it’s been two years since he saw a chance at release from prison with the cupbearer being brought back into Pharaoh’s good graces but Joseph’s friend forgot him and I wonder if Joseph felt like God had forgotten him as well. It feels like that at times, doesn’t it? Often it feels like, because we can’t see God moving, He must be off somewhere else unaware of the prison of waiting we find ourselves in at the present. And it does feel like a prison, doesn’t it?
My current season of waiting feels unbearable somedays. I am utterly weary from trudging forward when any option beyond the waiting would bring sweet, but very temporary, relief. Much like Joseph, I saw the answer to my escape and much like Joseph, it didn’t work out the way I thought and that might be more heartbreaking than having no answer at all. It felt like I’d been given false hope but here’s what I’ve come to realize in that waiting, God’s answers outside of my timing are still answers.
Joseph thought he was going to get out of jail when the cupbearer told Pharaoh about Joseph. Is that how Joseph got out of jail? Yes, did it happen in the time period he expected? No. The same can be true for us. Often, I want to throw the whole of God’s plan out the window or label something false hope when in reality, I just don’t like waiting for the conclusion of the story. Those two years of waiting were not wasted on Joseph. They set him up for the exact moment that would put him face to face with Pharaoh that would eventually lead to his pivotal role in Egypt. One moment sooner and he might have missed it completely but here’s the other key component of Joseph’s timing not being wasted... He chose to wait expectantly. How do I know that? Because it is obvious that God’s hand was still on Joseph’s life.
He could have easily turned into the culture that surrounded him or decided he wasn’t going to be the mouthpiece of God anymore because it only led to heartache. He didn’t do either of those things but rather continued to be the man God was going to use, in His timing for His purposes. I wish we had all that transpired in Joseph’s life during those two years. I’d love to know where his heart wavered, what gave him hope, what he learned, how he grew.
As much as I hate the seasons of waiting, I’d be lying if I said they didn’t bring me amazing moments of growth and some of the sweetest moments with my Father. You’re going to wait no matter what so you might as well let go and trust the Lord through the process.
Lord, if I’m honest, I hate waiting… even on You and I’m sorry. I know Your timing and plans are perfect and good but it just doesn’t feel that way at times. Please help me to remember the truth of Your goodness in the moments when my heartaches and when I am so weary from the wait.