“And please remember me and do me a favor when things go well for you. Mention me to Pharaoh, so he might let me out of this place. For I was kidnapped from my homeland, the land of the Hebrews, and now I’m here in prison, but I did nothing to deserve it.” Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer, however, forgot all about Joseph, never giving him another thought. Two full years later, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing on the bank of the Nile River. Finally, the king’s chief cup-bearer spoke up. “Today I have been reminded of my failure,” he told Pharaoh. (Genesis 40:14, 15, 23 and 41:1, 9 NLT)
Plans are very popular these days. Everyone has a 1-year plan, a 3-year plan, a 5-year plan, or, if you are super crazy organized, a 10-year plan. My husband and I had a plan when we got married. It was a 5-year plan. We were planning to wait 5 years to have a baby. We were going to have two close together, wait until the oldest started kindergarten and then have two more close together. That was OUR plan. We didn’t do so well in keeping with our plan. Our oldest was born 2 months before our third anniversary, and then we had 3 kids in 3 years. So much for the plan. It is good to have a plan, but sometimes you have to throw the plan out the window, and adjust and adapt, and just go with it. Sometimes, you really don’t have another choice.
Joseph had a plan, and I’m pretty sure at the outset it did not include the pit, slavery, or prison. He had BIG dreams! His brothers were going to bow down to him, but here he was. Stuck in prison. The verses above are a condensed version of this part of Joseph’s story. (I love Joseph. I could talk about him for pages and pages, so I’m trying to keep this concise.) He interpreted the dream of the king’s chief cup-bearer and found favor with him. He saw his ticket out of prison here. And he begged him to get Pharaoh to pardon him. But he didn’t. The cup-bearer forgot all about Joseph. It wasn’t until TWO FULL YEARS LATER that something happened that would change Joseph’s life forever. Pharaoh had a dream, and he was so disturbed by it that he called all of his leaders together to see if he could get some answers. And that divine contact that God had worked out TWO FULL YEARS EARLIER was ready to go into action. The chief cup-bearer remembered Joseph, and he went from prison to the palace overnight, literally!
If you are in the middle of a forgotten season and feel that God has just passed you over, please take heart. God set that contact up for Joseph, that Divine Connection, that Kingdom Appointment, WAY before he needed it so that it was ready to go when the timing was right. If Joseph had been released when HE wanted to be released, he would have likely high-tailed it right out of Egypt and would have MISSED THE WHOLE PLAN OF GOD. God had to keep him right where he was, IN PRISON, until it the timing was ready. God wasn’t as concerned about Joseph’s emotional state (didn’t he sound desperate for change?) or his physical locality. He didn’t seem concerned that Joseph wasn’t where HE wanted to be. God had a plan, and it was amazing. It was a WAY better plan than Joseph could have made up himself, even though it included prison along the way. His presence and grace and favor were with Joseph, and isn’t HE enough, after all?
God has a plan and God’s timing is perfect. Hang on tight to Him until He opens those doors to your dream for you. He is working right now on your behalf setting up amazing connections that you cannot even fathom. It’s okay to stay hidden and in a “forgotten season” because He is with you, and He is enough. He is preparing you. He is guiding you to His perfect plan, and it will be fully satisfying. You will be amazed!
A scripture to ponder today…to encourage you and give you strength:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 NIV)