Do you believe that God is for you? That he is at work in the unwanted difficulties of your life, and that he’s crafting something beautiful with them? Are you confident in his love for you? Joseph knew God like this.
We don’t want the trials Joseph experienced. A life where we wake up every day amid brokenness and disappointment. A place where we must choose to walk out what God already called us to do. (You can read more about that in last week’s post.)
But that’s what he’s asking. Instead, God is calling us to know him, and not in the way where our circumstances dictate our belief in his love. Instead, it’s based on knowing that he loves us, that he is for us, and that he is working through every single thing.
That kind of belief moves me. It opposes my complacency, my procrastination, my worries, and my weaknesses. It’s like a billboard with flashing lights on a dark night drive down the highway. It’s the sign that you kind of want to say you didn’t see, but there was no way you could miss it. It’s larger than life because it’s the key to so much of what we want, but do not get.
I kind of doubt that Joseph hated his life. His life was hard. It was unfair, but he made the best of it. And he found beauty in the places everyone else would have discounted. Joseph moves from the prison to second in command over all Egypt (catch the full story in Genesis 39-41). This happens in a matter of moments. It’s stunning redemption.
In the days after, Joseph marries and has two sons. Their names point to the deep healing Joseph experienced over the years of his captivity.
Joseph named his oldest son Manasseh (meaning “Made to Forget”—what he meant was that God had made up to him for all the anguish of his youth, and the loss of his father’s home). 52 The second boy was named Ephraim (meaning “Fruitful”—“For God has made me fruitful in this land of my slavery,” he said). (TLB Genesis 41:51-52)
This healing wasn’t based on his promotion from the dungeon to the palace, it went deeper than that. It overtook his life. God overcame the trouble. If God can do that with the substance of Joseph’s life, he can do it in yours and mine. And when we find him in something that we didn’t think we wanted it changes everything. Something profound happens when God touches our pain. He speaks in quiet whispers. His presence conveys the way he sees you. And his love changes the way we see our world.
I can say this because I see what God did for Joseph, and I know what he’s done for me. But I know that sometimes it’s hard to grasp. If you need some help to find God like this, message me (firstname.lastname@example.org).