“Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them.“Where do you come from?” he asked. “From the land of Canaan,” they replied, “to buy food.” Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. Then he remembered his dreams about them and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see where our land is unprotected.” (Genesis 42:6-9)
So here we are. Joseph had some dreams and they immediately came to pass, right? Not exactly! Instead of walking in those dreams, in the good life, he hit some bumps on the way to his dream, fearing for his life in the pit, serving as a slave, and then being thrown in prison when he had done nothing wrong. At this point, he is 9 years out of prison. His brothers come to Egypt to buy food AND THEY BOW DOWN TO JOSEPH!!! Sound like any of the dreams Joseph may have had? Joseph recognizes them immediately, and they talk. “THEN he remembered his dreams about them…” He did not immediately remember his dreams. Why? Well, for one, I believe he kept his heart right before God and walked in some level of forgiveness towards them. It could also be because his life was pretty good now and he had moved on. But we also see that to some level, Joseph had really been walking in his dream all along.
Joseph’s dreams were not just about his brothers bowing down. Those two dreams symbolized the level of leadership that Joseph would walk in. And if you read the whole story, you will see that no matter where Joseph was, he rose up to a level of leadership. He became the head of Potiphar’s household. He was put in charge in the prison. And now he was in charge of the ENTIRE kingdom of Egypt. Only in name was Pharaoh greater than Joseph.
My point is, Joseph was using his gift, his dream, all along no matter where he was. God used EACH PLACE he put Joseph to help train him and mold him and prep that leadership gift that He had put inside of him so that when he got to the fulfillment of the dream, he was ready.
We tend to despise the places God puts us on the way to our dream. “It’s too small. It wasn’t what I thought it would look like. I want to be doing something else! GET ME OUTTA HERE!!!” But we need to take a closer look. If we do, we will see that God has been using our gift (our dream) and preparing us and training us and getting us ready all along so that when he opens that door to the fulfillment of it, we are READY! It may just not have been what we expected.
I have seen this in my own life. Most of the last 20 years have been “hidden years” for me. I have gotten to teach some, but mostly, it’s been pretty hidden. But He used those years to shape me. I had time to study and pray and prepare. Hours and hours of time when I was just home with the little ones or not busy doing something. But if I hadn’t taken that prep time, I would not be where I am today. Am I at the “fulfillment” of my dream? Not quite yet! But, I am close, and I am still on my way. I am not quitting until I see it, and I have determined to find the value in every season because He uses every season!
Don’t despise the season you are in. It really is just a season. And all seasons change! It is during those hidden times when it is just not quite what you expected that He is honing your gift so that you can be the MOST EFFECTIVE when dream becomes reality! Trust the One who holds your future. He will far exceed your hopes and dreams. Sometimes He doesn’t meet our expectations because He wants to exceed them. He did for Joseph, and I know He will for you!
Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]— To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it). (Ephesians 3:20-21 AMP)