Dodging the full impact of the cruel act of his brothers, Joseph escaped his “pit” as he was sold into Egypt as a slave.
This unfair card dealt to him was the beginning of God’s strategic working in his life.
While as a slave, Joseph’s deep-rooted joy, hardworking nature and honest spirit went unnoticed and very soon, impressed his master Portifah who placed Joseph in a position of trust. Joseph served in Portifah’s household.
Even in the midst of learned men and great wealth, Joseph’s virtues distinctly shined. His faithfulness to his master Portifah was a mere testament of his faithfulness to his Master, God. And soon enough, the household of Portifah was drenched in blessings because of Joseph’s faithfulness to God.
Still, Satan was not satisfied that Joseph proved unbreakable, even after his brother’s cruel act or while serving in a foreign land as a slave.
So, he influenced Portifah’s wife to entice Joseph with the charm of beauty and deceit, to which Joseph rejected.
Fuelled by embarrassment and anger, Portifah’s wife brought sudden humiliation upon Joseph with her charms of lies and accusations.
“Potiphar was furious when he heard his wife’s story about how Joseph had treated her. So he took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held, and there he remained.” Genesis 39: 19, 20
Joseph could not dodge the full impact of this attack and he was imprisoned, and served as a condemned criminal.
Still, even in prison, the virtues of Joseph were hard to ignore. He preserved his integrity and bore a calm and joyful spirit. This winning spirit eventually brought him within the circle of favour and he was again exalted or promoted to a leadership position – prison warden…soon thereafter special advisor to Pharaoh then ultimately as Prime Minister.
“But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favourite with the prison warden.” Genesis 39: 21
There is a prison of some sort where we spend most of our days – our minds, jobs, relationships, homes….
We are here because of the wickedness of our own hearts or the wickedness of others.
There, (here), we are crushed in spirit, condemned by the enemy, and confused about how our faithfulness to God and that which is good, landed us in this position.
But just as Joseph was placed in the prison, unfair as it may have appeared, by God to birth within him a heart of gold, the mind of Christ, and spirit of steel, so too, God has placed us where we are to allow the extraordinary to develop within us.
It is only within this prison, will we be able to see the deep wickedness of the human heart as well as the majestic manifestations of God, step by step, trial by trial, heart ache after heart ache, attack after attack.
“But the Lord was with Joseph”
Joseph was able to endure the suffering only because the sovereign hand of God was with him.
That is our hope.
This is my hope.
We can only endure our suffering because the hand of God is with us.
God’s hand alone is able to remove the scales from our eyes so that we can see the purpose to which our unique prison serves.
Most times we deny or avoid accepting the reality of where we are, how we got here and the emotions that thrive with being here. We go about living out self lies, too afraid to pause, reflect and admit that we are in a prison. It’s a simple “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” acknowledge no evil defense mechanism that serves to dismiss what is before us, around us and within us, to “protect” us.
God digs a little deeper, reveals to us why we are where we are and offers us coping mechanisms to handle being where we are.
He removes that scales that prevent us from seeing His hand, purpose and leading.
This removal of the scales from our eyes shifts our perspective. Consider the transformation of Saul in Acts 9. Saul was only able to see spiritually and physically when “something like scales fell from his eyes”.
God’s hand alone will catch our tears.
Part of bouncing back after adversity or carefully trotting on the road toward resilience is our ability to actively engage in the grieving process. This grieving process allows us to accept that which we lost (self, a relationship, a reality, a dream), process our pain and emotions, and slowly make adjustments to our lives. Part of this process involves giving ourselves permission to be sad, to cry, to feel hurt and broken. And there is no other person who is intimately concerned and involved in our grieving process…like God.
God keeps track of our sorrows. Collects our tears. Records each one. And provides support and comfort, like no friend or professional can.
God’s hand alone will calm our anxious, broken, wearied hearts.
In the pull and push of breaking free of anxiety, emotional weariness and brokenness, we hold the scissors.
On one hand, we have God calling us to cut the sources that keep us tied to these toxic emotions: need for control, unbelief and worry, and on the other hand we have these sources calling us to become cozy and comfortable in the draining beds of anxiety, weariness and brokenness.
God wants us to ask Him for strength and courage so that we can cut off the sources that keep us from going to Him, so that He can give us rest (Matthew 11: 28)….even if it is for a night.
Love, peace, joy,
© 2016, Dentrecia Blanchette