“Joseph, will you come here? Please.”
The jail keeper’s voice shook Joseph out of his thoughts. He ran to the front office. Two men slumped over by the front door.
The jail keeper straightened the papers in front of him. “Here are our two newest residents. The alcohol took over and they disturbed Pharaoh’s party. See them to an empty cell. I suggest you wait until tomorrow until you find out what they’re good at.”
Joseph looked from the jail keeper to the men, then out the window at Pharaoh’s officers walking away. He let out a deep breath. “Very well.” He held the door open. “Come along fellas. I can get someone bigger than me to drag you in here if you prefer.”
The men staggered across the room. One of them vomited when he reached the doorway.
The jail keeper jumped back. Joseph looked at him. “I’ll get someone to clean that up right away, Sir.”
One year later Joseph was deep in thought about the cup bearer’s dream, again.
“Joseph, I need you here.”
The jail keeper’s voice sounded urgent so Joseph jumped up and jogged to the office.
The jail keeper pointed toward the door. “I believe you already know what these two are good at.”
Joseph glanced at the two men and resisted the urge to run after Pharaoh’s officers outside. Joseph stared at the drunks. “Will you two never learn. You guys deserve to be in here. Maybe this time they’ll leave you here.”
As Joseph walked his morning rounds on the next date of Pharaoh’s birthday his mind still relived the dreams he interpreted. He slumped into his desk chair.
“Joseph, you’re being summoned.” The jail keeper’s voice was its usual demanding tone.
Joseph walked into the front office. “Don’t tell me those two are drunk already.”
His mouth dropped open when he saw an entourage of Pharaoh’s officers staring at him.
“Are you the Hebrew who interprets dreams?”
Joseph swallowed hard.
Waiting, if it’s so unpopular why are so many people doing it?
The reason so many people are waiting is because it’s the single most important lesson we need to learn from God. His timetable is eternal while ours is temporary. Jesus was never rushed.
Sure, I admit, we each only have one life to live and in which to get as much done as we can. Those of us who gave our life to Christ have even more reason to give as much as we can to further His kingdom.
That in no way gives us a free pass from waiting. If anything we’ll have to wait even longer to accomplish something.
Before I answer that let’s look at Joseph’s life here. He finally sees a light at the end of his prison-induced tunnel when he sent the cup bearer back to Pharaoh. Then he languishes for twenty four whole months with nothing to show for his efforts.
That’s two years of his life he never got back. What was God teaching this future leader during those agonizing days, weeks and months?
- Diligence; Joseph had to keep taking his life one step at a time not knowing what God was doing behind the scenes.
- Determination; Joseph’s desire to please God no matter what was pushed to the extreme during this time.
- Dependence; Joseph would learn through this that God was working to make everything work together for his good.
He’s teaching the same lessons for you and me today.
Our trust in Him should grow with each test of patience we pass.
Our faith in God’s sovereign purpose should increase each time we evidence a waiting quiz.
Our love for God will improve as we witness His desire to make us more like Jesus with each lesson learned by waiting.
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As I’m typing this I can quickly think of at least four major things in my life that I’m waiting for something outside of my control for. There are even more minor events I’d like to see occur.
Each of these events involves other people. I’ve done as much as I can, which sometimes is very little, to influence them. The rest I must trust God to work as He promises in scripture.
The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases. Proverbs 21:1
In place of “The king’s” put the name of the person you’re waiting on for your test from heaven. Say it out loud. It’s very freeing.
God is directing that person’s heart as much as He does any king. He’s still in control of every event in your life. Trust Him.
I don’t know about you but I like looking at maps. Maybe that’s why I enjoy driving a truck for a living. Pull out a map of one of the states that has the Mississippi River as a boundary. Look closely at the islands and areas along that river.
An astute observer will notice places that appear out of place. Over time that mighty river has moved certain state boundaries while the governing authorities seem oblivious to God’s leading.
If there are people living on these patches of land I guess they have to drive several miles to cross a bridge in order to vote for their state representatives.
If God can change the course of a river as huge as the Mississippi River He can change that person’s heart you’re waiting on, my friend.
And if He doesn’t, then allow Him to change yours.
Yes, there are times we must move on. Only you and God can determine when that time comes.
Allow God to have His way in your heart, too.
Joseph never planned on being the second-in-command of the mightiest nation in his world, He merely lived his life one day at a time. God had his life all mapped out according to His sovereign plan.
Lay your burdens at His feet. He’ll take care of them.
That’s His Fatherly duty.
I’ll see you later. Wade