In our previous post, The Hand of God we mentioned that Joseph was wrongfully thrusted into prison for sexual accusations spewed by Mrs. Portifah. There, his character shined brightly amidst the darkness of his reality and eventually he gained the confidence of those in charge, who later placed him in charge of all the prisoners.
This promotion of sorts did not remove Joseph out of the dark dungeon but placed him in a greater position of influence where he would be able to serve his purpose for that time even while oppressed and in need, himself.
I believe that we aren’t always brought to low places and periods as a consequence to our actions or lack of faith in God but rather to serve persons within those low places. And as painful as it may be, especially when we have to thrive in these low places and periods, it is the truest definition of being a follower of Christ – being able to be faithful to Him no matter the height of depth He thinks it best to place us.
The chief baker and chief butler joined Joseph as they were cast into the dark dungeon for offenses admitted against the King. While imprisoned with them, Joseph one day recognized that they were gloomy.
Reaching out to them, he learnt that they both had dreams that they were unable to interpret. Joseph said to them, ‘Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.'” Joseph refers them to God, but also presents himself as a mediator. The dreams were relayed to Joseph who explained that in three days, the chief butler would be executed and the chief cupbearer would be restored to his position. After interpreting the dreams, Joseph, in true human fashion, made a personal plea to the cupbearer to remember him when he is restored to his position.
Joseph’s ability to remain sensitive and observant to the needs of others while serving in prison speaks of his strength of character that did not allow his external reality to crush his inner servant spirit.
And this is the type of follower God is molding us to become – one who could not only be faithful in a palace but in a prison too, or in a cave or a city, in comfort or crisis, in summer as in winter, in abundance as in a faminine.
Lord, there are times where I give in to anger, bitterness and self-pity while serving in my prison. The prison robs me of my softness, sensitivity and clouds my ability to see and serve the needs of those around me or who are in similar prisons themselves. Strengthen my inner servant spirit to be faithful to Your calling on my life even when the things around me are dark, distressing, disappointing and depressing.
Three days later, Joseph’s interpretation of the dreams were made manifest and with a heart filled with jubilation and freedom, the chief cup bearer, forgot about the request made of Joseph.
There are persons whom we confide in and share our unique dilemmas or burdens with, believing, that they will help us or remember us at an ideal time, to shift the elements of our reality. We find ourselves leaning on these persons more than we are leaning on God, only to later be let down by these “human heroes”.
For two more years, Joseph served in prison. Even then, the hand of God was still with him for had the cup bearer honoured Joseph’s request, Pharaoh would have released him from the prison but restore him as a slave.
God had something greater in store for Joseph.
It wasn’t until Pharaoh had a dream, that Joseph, the dream interpreter, was remembered and called upon. His accurate interpretation of the King’s dream not only granted him freedom but granted him power and influence as he was made to rule Egypt.
This is how the hand of God moves in our lives. It allows human efforts (the advice of a loved one, the memory of a colleague, the favour of a professional) to disappoint and fail us so that our trust could solely be placed in the providence and deliverance of God.
And only, when we make the hand of God, our only hope, will He grant us freedom with a prize…freedom with a promotion….freedom with an elevated purpose.
Lord, you have trusted me enough to place me in this low place and period so that my character can be strengthened and I can serve at least one person here. Help me not to give in to bitterness, self pity and anger but to the working and leading of your Holy Spirit. Don’t stop working on me, even now.
Love, peace and joy,
(C) 2016, Dentrecia Blanchette