Things do not always work out as you hope. Joseph came from a dysfunctional family. You could make the case he descended from a couple of generations of dysfunctional families. Rather than discouraging us this should encourage us knowing that God indeed uses flawed individuals. Joseph had dreams that he was going to be successful and that his family would honor him. This infuriated his brothers and his father as well. His father played favorites by giving Joseph a beautiful coat creating additional jealousy and conflict in the family. One day his father sent him to see his brothers out in the fields. As his siblings saw him approaching they exclaimed: “Behold the dreamer.” Seeing their chance to be rid of him, they threw him down into a deep hole. As the brothers sat around contemplating their next move, they saw a caravan of traders headed to a foreign land. Why kill him when we can sell him. Joseph, the one with big dreams, was sold into slavery and carried off to a distant land. What a terrible situation, the dreamer, becomes a slave.
I wonder how Joseph worked through all the drama and trauma? He was bought out of slavery by a man named Potiphar. It did not take Joseph long to set his master’s house in order, and Potiphar put him in charge of the entire house. Potiphar’s wife continually propositioned Joseph, but Joseph was faithful to God and would not mistreat his master. The lady grabbed Joseph, and in his haste to escape, he left his cloak. She was so angry with Joseph that she devised a plan and told her servants that Joseph was trying to force himself on her. She told her husband that Joseph tried to take advantage of her, and Potiphar became angry. He had Joseph thrown in prison. From the pit, his brothers threw him in and then sold into slavery and carried into a strange land, and now just as it seemed things were on the upswing, he finds himself in prison. What would you have done? Yet in the Bible, it says before long the warden of the jail discovered Joseph and put him in charge of the jail. God was watching over him. Joseph is an example of what to do when the prison door is shut, and you are in a place you did not choose…trust God.
There are times we all face circumstances that are out of our control. Some of you reading are having a hard time understanding how it could be God’s will for you to be where you are today. It seems so unfair, how can anything good come from my predicament? Maybe you can relate to Joseph in that you too have experienced some sorrow and disappointment, and you have overcome. Then out of nowhere, you feel like you have been thrown into prison. It is one thing to go through bad things when we did questionable things. There are times when things happen, beyond our control and we are left to wonder, “what just happened?”
It is much easier for me to write about what to do; then, it is to experience it and walk through the hard events. You and I must cling to the belief that God is in control. He is in control even when my life seems to be out of control. Throughout the world, God does some of His best work in the darkest of times. God does not lead along a straight line. At times it goes from side to side. I have learned over the years and can gladly tell you: God is faithful. God knows what He is doing, and you can trust Him with your life and all of its details. I worship and praise Him daily that even in the most sorrowful times in my life He was working and shaping and refining me. I did not like to hear someone tell me this fact when I was in the midst of the trial, but I can tell you it is the truth. Trust Him, my friend, He cares about you and He has not abandoned you. God is with you!