And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt. (Genesis 45:4-8 NLT)
Boy Joseph had a flair for the dramatic, didn’t he? (Read chapters 42-44 if you don’t believe me.) But he reveals his identity to his brothers with loud tears that could be heard all over the palace. “I am Joseph. Remember me? That brother you almost killed but sold instead? Yep. That’s me. I’m alive and in charge of everything.”
But that wasn’t all he said. He makes it clear four times in six sentences that this was God’s plan all along and he didn’t blame them.
When Joseph first had his dreams, his attitude was more like, “Nanna nanna boo boo, I’m going to rule over you! After all, I had a dream!” But we see in reality, when everything came to pass, he had a different perspective. He had God’s perspective.
Joseph’s dream was no longer just about HIM getting to DO something. It was about God’s purpose – to save His covenant people from starvation during a massive famine. God had a covenant to keep, and He had an elaborate master plan to do it. And His plan was Joseph.
At one point, I was so down about how long things were taking in my life, and I wondered what I did to have to wait! When was I going to get to DO something???
I was making pork chops one day, and one of my kids needed some “attention” (aka correction). I couldn’t deal with him right then because my pork chops needed my attention, so he had to sit down at the table and WAIT for me to finish. And right then, God spoke to me and said, “Does your son’s waiting have anything to do with your son?” And I said, “No.” He said, “Neither does your waiting have anything to do with you. I have a plan, and I am working it out.”
I’ll never forget it. I think of it every time I make pork chops, and it always makes me smile. And Joseph’s waiting didn’t really have anything to do with Joseph. He was waiting on the timing of God’s master plan.
Joseph’s whole life was the fulfillment of his dream, and I believe God gave him this perspective, His perspective, and that’s why he could release his brothers of guilt and be overjoyed with tears to see them.
If he hadn’t been thrown into that pit by his brothers and sold, he would not have made it to Egypt. If he had not been sold to Potiphar who was one of Egypt’s “Who’s Who,” he would not have been thrown into Pharaoh’s prison. If he hadn’t been kept waiting in Pharaoh’s prison, he would not have been there to interpret the chief cup-bearer’s dream. If he had not interpreted the chief cup-bearer’s dream, he wouldn’t have been called on to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. If he had not been there to interpret Pharaoh’s dream, the famine could have wiped out God’s people, and God had a covenant to keep.
Slavery and prison were GOD’S PLAN for Joseph. Let that blow your theology out of the water for a second. Yikes!
God still has a covenant to keep, and your dreams are a part of the fulfillment of His plan for the whole earth to hear of His goodness. If your dreams are all about YOU and what YOU want to DO, they might need to cook a little bit longer until they become all about Him..until you can see His purpose…until His purpose becomes your purpose no matter what it looks like.
And honestly, that usually includes waiting on His timing. We have to be okay with that! (Easier said than done. I know, right?) Remember, He’s just frying up the pork chops!
You might be in “prison” right now, but know this – God is working on your behalf right this very minute . He’s lining up the events of your life just like He did for Joseph. And it may not always be comfortable.
We want to be in the right place at the right time, but we want that to be a happy place and a fun time, and prison is no fun. Trust me, if He is allowing that right now, He will use it for His purpose and give you grace to see you through. Just don’t give up.
I’m praying for you today, for God’s perfect timing and plan, and for His grace and peace to overwhelm and saturate you as you wait on Him, and that He will show you His perspective.
#dontgiveup #remembertheporkchops #trust #prisonhasapurpose #timingiseverything