Through all the nightmares, God prepared the dream. Joseph was a forgotten man, at least I’m sure he thought he was forgotten.
“Then Pharaoh’s chief butler spoke up and said, ‘It is time for me to recall my faults. Once Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. One night we both had dreams, each needing its own interpretation. We had with us a young Hebrew, a slave of the captain of the guard and we told him our dreams and he interpreted them for us, giving each man’s dream its own interpretation. Each dream came true as it had been interpreted to us: I was restored to my position and he was hanged.’ ” Genesis 41:9-13 New English Bible
Some might say better late than never! And that may have been Joseph’s attitude at the time. Although, I think when things began to pop there was not much time for thinking. Joseph certainly could not appear before Pharaoh as a filthy criminal/slave. Thus begins “Operation Prepare Joseph to Meet the King.” Perhaps Joseph finally felt that he would be exonerated, his name cleared, and he could finally go home.
However as is often the case, Joseph’s plans and God’s plans were definitely two very different things. When all is said and done, you can’t really blame Joseph that all he wants is to see Egypt in his “Rear View Mirror” and good riddance!
This is the type of moment in time, and probably more accurate to note it is one of many moments, where Joseph and the rest of us come face to face with life altering decisions. He doesn’t even know what is coming at him, but when he does…?
We know the rest of the story. No one there could possibly be aware of the historic miracle that would change their lives. All they knew was some Hebrew slave, an accused rapist, was supposedly going to tell Pharaoh, the Living Ra, the god on Earth, what his dreams meant! And I’m willing to bet no one wanted to be in Joseph’s sandals! Well, maybe they thought the encounter would at least it be entertaining, if nothing else!
To say Joseph was cleaned up would be an understatement! Most likely, he was scrubbed down, given clean clothing, told the rules for coming into the presence of Pharaoh, of being in the king’s presence, how to address Pharaoh, when to speak and when not to speak. Above all, “Never look Pharaoh directly in the eyes, keep your eyes lowered at all times!” “Remember who you are, a common slave, a prisoner, and he is the almighty Pharaoh!”
Here is another of those areas where I am in desperate need of God’s Grace! For whatever reason, for whatever might come of it, or be started by it, I do not scrape and bend very well. It’s an interesting phenomenon, having struggled with low self worth, you might think I would be overawed by those who are supposed to be my “betters.” It’s not that I try to be disrespectful, I’m just not very easily impressed. People are people no matter what titles precede or initials follow their names! In fact, I may never understand the English and their attitude to the royals. Yes, I do need an attitude adjustment, likely more than one.
Joseph may have had the same difficulties adjusting to his life as a slave in Egypt after being the favorite son of a wealthy father. God’s plan for Joseph had included years of training in preparation for his meeting Pharaoh. Imagine what would have happened if the spoiled young Joseph had been called to meet the king; now that would have been a disaster of epic proportions!
It seems a lot of life is determined by the choices I make each and every day. We can see that as a reality in Joseph’s story. Every day, and likely more than once a day he had to make choices. He had to make choices about his actions, attitudes, where did God fit in all of this nightmare, and if God was here, why let this happen?
Sometimes we find ourselves asking God hard questions, like “Why?” The book of Job tells us God is more than able to deal with our questions. He never promises to give us an answer greater than, “I Love you, I want you with me, and I made it possible for that to be your reality! Now just trust Me!”
The moment Joseph had waited for was at hand, and he had no clue what God was about to create. Little did Joseph know how God would use him to save thousands, to impact an entire nation, and make a difference in the lives of millions of people over thousands of years.
In all the time since, men, women, and children have found comfort, courage, an answer, or maybe the question needed to transform their life. Joseph’s story is ours. Yes, the details are different, however it is the story of a child of God being abused, sold into slavery (remember there are all kinds of slavery) falsely accused of a crime he didn’t commit, thrown into prison and presumably forgotten for years. Yet all through the nightmare, God prepared the Dream. It was a dream Joseph could never have conjured in his greatest of imaginations!
It didn’t feel like a God-planned dream to Joseph for nearly 13 years. I don’t know how long you have been on your journey, but I bet it feels like it has been forever! How do I know? That is how I feel just about every day. There are circumstances you just can’t figure out; why did they happen, and why to you? I know, because I’m there several times a day, maybe more times than for it to be healthy. I also know I am not alone. God is here!
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22-23 New Living Translation
There will be a day when all God originally wanted for us will be ours. In the meantime, God uses us to invite others to be part of His original plan for the planet before it was broken. Until that day we also have each other; we can be great gifts to each other as we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with His Fruit. Remember they are His gifts. He gives; you can’t take. Demanding and forcing will never work. The gifts come through His Spirit to our hearts and minds, shattered then resurrected in and with Jesus! It really is a glorious promise, one that will never be broken!
I am so thankful our Creator, Re-Creator, Savior, Father, Friend, the One Who loves with a love I can’t even imagine, has never left me. No matter what the nightmare, He stayed, and is still here no matter in what state I find myself. Through all our nightmares, God prepares the Dream.
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