We all have dreams.
And we all have had our dreams dashed, usually by those closest to us.
Joseph had BIG dreams.
And his family didn’t like his dreams. They thought they were ridiculous and that Joseph was trying to lord it over them. So they threw him and his dreams into a pit.
I wonder how long Joseph lay in that pit before his brothers drew him out and sold him.
Long enough to realize that he had been bruised physically and emotionally, for sure. Here he was …. deep down in a well. It was cold and dark. He was sore, maybe a broken bone. Certainly, his heart was broken. His own flesh and blood had literally thrown him away. I imagine that he figured this was the end of his dreams AND of him.
Have you ever found yourself thrown into the pits of life with seemingly no hope for rescue?
I have been thrown into the dark, wondering “what went wrong?”
“What did I do that caused this terrible turn of events?”
“And, what should I do now?”, as I lick my wounds.
“How would I get out of this dark place?”
For Joseph, if we jump to the end of the story, we find a happy ending …. reconciliation. Tears of Joy.
18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.
19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. Genesis 50
How did Joseph manage to remain kind and forgiving after such treatment?
David once wrote,
12 If an enemy were insulting me,
I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me,
I could hide.
13 But it is you, a man like myself,
my companion, my close friend,
14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
at the house of God,
as we walked about
among the worshipers. Psalm 55:12
David’s faith in God is what kept his heart tender and forgiving.
Later in the chapter, David says
Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22
He had his moment of despair, but then he turned to God before hate and vengeance could take control.
It had to be the same for Joseph. God had an amazing plan to work out for Joseph.
You see, Joseph was not ready, at seventeen, to become second in command in Egypt. There was training to be done. God needed to stretch and shape Joseph’s character. He did this through those trials. … being thrown into a pit, being sold as a slave, given leadership roles in a household, then thrown into prison and given leadership roles there. This was all training for the “BIG” job.
James told us this in his epistle,
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Joseph allowed God to mold and shape him THROUGH the trials and in the end, he was ready to take leadership being 2nd in command in all of Egypt. As a result, he was able to save his family AND all of Egypt.
Joseph let go of the pain and took hold of God.
We must let go of one thing to grab hold of the other. We can’t have both.
As with clay, if it is hard and dry, it cannot be shaped. It must be pliable to allow the master to shape and mold. Sometimes even, a beautiful pot is taking shape, but The Master sees a flaw and he crushes the clay back down and starts again.
Can you see it?
Back in that cold, dark pit, Joseph did not know how God was going to turn things around. He only knew that it hurt. But God already had a plan for dealing with the hurt and turning things around. Joseph’s part in all of this was to keep trusting God.
Help me, like Joseph, to remain pliable in Your hands that you may mold me and make me after Your will.
Have you been hurt by the church? Have you felt abandoned by God in the lonely fires of ministry? The Perils of A Pastor’s Wife will speak to your deepest wounds and help you find God’s Presence through it all. Sweet Sister—somewhere, somehow, somebody knows. You are not alone. A Faceook group has been created for support in these days. Come join us.
This Group is expressly for men and women trying to find Joy in the Wilderness after
losing their pastorate. Please share this with others you know who are struggling with the transition.
This is a place for support and encouragement. No judgment, just a shoulder to lean on.
CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO JOIN.
Holding on to Hope!
Listen and worship Him with this old hymn, Have Thine Own Way
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Nan Jones is an author/speaker who uses the words of her heart to assist fellow Christians in discovering the Presence of God in their darkest hour. She is a monthly contributor to Inspire a Fire and PW Connections, a blog and forum to encourage pastors’ wives. Her debut book, The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife released June 30, 2015, by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. This memoir was a 2016 Selah finalist. When Nan isn’t writing, she enjoys leading prayer retreats, bible studies or sharing God’s faithfulness as a keynote speaker for special events.