He could feel the biting cold through his skin as he tried to use the small scrap of cloth to cover some parts of his body. The cell stank and the lunch he had just endured threatened to pour out from his gut. No matter how long he ate the food, he could never get used to how terrible it was. At least he had a better portion than the rest of his mates, he thought as he chuckled to himself, thanking God for small mercies that make a big difference. Being the leader even in this forlorn place had its advantages, he smiled.
He sighed "But Abba, it is getting more difficult to smile or keep my head up. How long would it take? How long Elohim? I tell the other boys the story of the God of my youth and they laugh with mirth at how ridiculous I sound. I tell them the stories that my beloved Papa regaled us with night after night - true stories, some of which he saw himself and some which even happened to him! And sometimes I do think that they believe I may have lost it!"
He pushed the cloth away from his skin as he rose to walk the small length of his 'home' soliloquising "How do I explain angelic visitations, stairways to heaven, Papa wrestling with you?! It all sounds so mad, completely FOOLISH!! Am I running mad? Is it folly to still hold on to the dreams of years gone past? Did I not see it? Was it not you? Why did I open my big mouth! Oh why Abba, why have all these terrible things happened to me?! I have tried.. tried so hard to love you - the unseen God. I have tried, tried so much to obey you like Papa admonished us day and night. I have striven, striven to honour you even when I had so many ways out... So many easier options which I rejected because I would rather honour you." As he thought aloud, he couldn't help the tears that escaped his lashes as his voice broke with every word.
"I have been forgotten Lord, who remembers me? Who knows my name? Time and time again I have been forgotten. I have paid the price for crimes unknown. My heart has been broken in two by family and foes. Disappointments, I have to bear over and over again. Years and years have gone past and I ask again, would this ever change Lord? Would the dreams ever come through? Will you let me die a prisoner in a foreign land".
"JOSEPH! Come". The Chief Security Officer calls out loudly to him, and then turns to speak to the men hovering around the cell - "Guards take him, change him, the King wants him!"
During the season of waiting, one comes to almost fully appreciate the story of Joseph. A man who was given a dream years and years before, yet everything pointed contrary to it.
Can you imagine for a minute how he must have felt waiting all those years?! Waiting for a dream that started from teenage-hood and didn't get fulfilled until adulthood; with a lot of disappointments, betrayals, impossible situations and suffering in-between.
But he had a dream.. And only he would have been able to deprive himself of it; not his brothers, not his parents, not Potiphar or his wife, not the Baker or the Cupbearer.
The season of waiting for the fulfilment of a dream or a promise can be one of the most difficult periods in our lives. You may be waiting for God to bring you that dream spouse, that dream child, that dream job, that dream opportunity, that dream change.. You may have cried your fair share of tears, done your bit in fasting and praying, obeying God through it all yet it seems like nothing is happening right now.
You may be just ready to give up.
You may be just ready to give up.
I want to encourage you today to please hold on to your dream, hold on to your promise.. Just as God came through for Joseph, He will come through for you.
It is difficult now, it looks bleak now BUT God never leaves you, He will never leave you nor forsake you (Deut 31:6). He is right there with you urging you to hold on, to keep going because He is not a man that should lie, neither the son of man that should repent of His word (Num 23:19). That dream of yours will come to pass, that promise will be fulfilled. Please don't give up yet. No matter how bad it is right now, your joy will come in the morning and when it does you won't stop dancing.
"... All the days of my appointed time, I will wait till my change comes" - Job 14:14b
"When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion (insert your name here), we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing, then they said among the nations, "the Lord has done great things for them". The Lord has done great things for us and we are glad." - Psalm 126:1-3
You can read the story of Joseph yourself in Genesis 37 - 46
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