What would be the most perfect day you could spend? What would you choose to do, who would you choose to be your companion? Imagine for twenty-four hours you could do anything, no matter the cost or location, even your fears would be set aside for this wondrous gift of time.
What if you could do one thing, (I wish I’d thought of this myself, but the idea came from Facebook) and be absolutely assured you could not fail, no matter the choice. All fears and phobias could be set aside along with anything that could possibly hold you back from that one desire, that one impossible dream you keep well hidden from everyone. Imagine being able to achieve that desire you think just might feed your soul, your heart and mind, and still leave your dignity in one piece, not in a wreckage!
My secret desire really surprised me! Maybe it shouldn’t have as it combines two things I enjoy immensely, music and story telling. Allegory and ballad, two faces of the same coin, the message shared, the message received. Long ago, Joni used to tease saying the only reason she married me was for my extensive record album collection! Well, that was proved wrong, because the collection went up in smoke several years ago and she is still here!
After purchasing a new album, then cassette and eventually CD, my first act was to get it home, open it and pull out the liner notes, then play it and read the words as they were being sung. The words and the melody becoming one made the song for me, made the music. I actually listened to the words, the words and the melody moved me in amazing ways. I knew by heart most lyrics of the songs I cherished. I was one of those guys (here it comes) who wore his heart on his sleeve. Music could elevate or deflate me depending on what ideas and feelings were percolating in me. Because I saw myself as not popular, not a “hunk,” and mostly unnoticeable, I was very unsure of myself, and music was my safe place. When surrounded by music, I didn’t have to be anything, didn’t worry about being the odd one out. So when I saw the question, “What would I do if I was guaranteed I would not fail?” my response came quickly, I would write songs and sing!
I’m pretty sure I just surprised all those who know me! My Mom was an amazing singer, but the singing gene skipped a generation. My girls are amazing singers. However, I have always enjoyed music, even if I wasn’t a singer. I slept with a radio on for most of my life. I find it incredible that someone can take words and musical notes and turn them into something that has the ability to move thousands, if not millions!
“Then Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph…” Genesis 41:14 New American Standard Bible
How do you think Joseph would answer those two questions? 1) “If you could choose the most perfect day to spend anyway you wanted, what would that be?” 2) “If you could do anything you wanted, desired, set your heart on and were guaranteed it would be yours, what would you choose?”
Joseph, the Prince of the Hebrews, Joseph the slave of Midianites, Joseph the slave then Manager of Potiphar’s entire holdings, Joseph the accused rapist, Joseph the felon, I doubt his answer would be to stand before the most powerful man known in his world and beyond. That was not on Josephs agenda for the day, guaranteed!
“Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I have had a dream but no can interpret it; and I have heard it said about you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.’ ” Genesis 41:15 New American Standard Bible
There it is, the opportunity Joseph has been waiting for, praying for, pleading for, the chance to redeem his freedom, to go home and to once more see his father and family. It dangles before him like car keys dance before a 16 year old. Once again, Joseph reveals where his heart and mind are, who is the One that sits on the throne of his life. Here is a revelation of integrity like no other, choosing to honor God because it is truth, it is the right thing to do, and Joseph knows without God nothing is going to happen.
Do you understand that truth? I am moment by moment in a learning curve teaching me this most concrete Truth. Without God nothing happens, things occur, but nothing happens! Life, joy, peace, friends, passion, intimacy, patience, faith, hope, and most important of all Love, not one of these can be a reality in the life of anyone without God! And without God all of life is only marking time. This is what made Joseph so different from the other slaves and prisoners, he lived, not marking time. Integrity is a key component to living, you cannot truly live without integrity, because without integrity we lack the fundamental honesty that acknowledges we are who we are because of “…this all surpassing power…from God.”
Joseph did not hesitate for a moment, he made an instant declaration “ Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, it is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” Genesis 41:16 NASB
And a whole new life for Joseph opened with those words, a life beyond anything he could have imagined. Joseph’s journey of 13 years placed him where he never thought was possible. If someone had told him before the journey began, no way would he have believed it was a possibility.
What is happening in your life right now that looks like an everlasting prison sentence? Have you been betrayed by someone you trusted to speak out for you? Has someone you believed in broken trust with you? Are you looking around you, looking at yourself with a sense of hopelessness? You are not alone. I’m here with you and so are others, but most importantly God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Comforter are with you. Right this moment they are in you, around you, cocooning you in their love!
Oh, and remember, all this was just the beginning of Joseph’s story. When Pharaoh called Joseph, he was 30, and he lived a very long life. Joseph may not have known “The Rest of the Story” but we do, and this can give us hope as we face our own “Rest of the Story.” God has promised one day we will share the wonders of His plans for us all, and we will know the rest of the story. That will be the most perfect day!