Heroes and Villains: Joseph
This post is part of the Heroes and Villains series. To read any specific or even all of the posts in this series, just click on this link: Heroes and Villains series.
Children. Am I right?
My children are notorious for choosing the most inconvenient time to request snacks and drinks. The. MOST. Inconvenient.
I can be elbow deep in a completely blown out diaper that has tracked the unmentionable throughout the house and my children will choose that exact moment to demand that I fulfill a need of theirs. It's a scenario full of teachable moments that I never choose to deal with when I'm elbow deep in the very thing that's going to make me wretch!
After informing my children that I'm their mother and not their slave, and that they are to ask not demand. I usually have to remind them to be patient. My children are three and five so when coming up with the definition of patience, I had to get very basic. I often tell them, "Patience is waiting with a GOOD attitude!"
It's become my own special phrase that is sometimes parroted back to me. "Mommy, I'm waiting with a GOOD attitude!" (We always emphasize "Good" in the phrase.)
Waiting with a good attitude means that we choose to be respectful, even when we want something RIGHT NOW! This is especially helpful when we find ourselves standing in the grocery line for 15 minutes!
Waiting with a good attitude means having a smile on our face. Nothing is worse than looking up from a dirty diaper to see mean faces. Ok... maybe looking up from a diaper and dealing with whining and crying might be worse. I try to teach my children that having a smile on our face shows that our hearts are happy. Happy hearts get helped a lot faster than demanding ones. (Because a demanding heart would have to undergo a little longer lesson in patience.)
Joseph is an excellent example of waiting with a good attitude and how that good attitude can make all the difference!
Read Genesis 39-45
Here's what moves me so much about Joseph's story. In Genesis 37, we find that Joseph has these great God-sized, impossible-seeming, dreams. His dreams are big and simply don't make sense to his family. In Genesis 37, we see this great discord in his family. He not only has these God-sized dreams, but he's also his dad's favorite son. In families where dad only has one son, that wouldn't be a problem, but Joseph had many brothers! His brothers get so fed up with him that they even consider murdering him. His oldest brother, Reuben, talked the other brothers down and encouraged them to not kill him. So.... they sell Joseph as a slave.
Related Post: Heroes and Villains- Reuben
A slave is a pretty far cry from royalty!
The part that moves me so much about Joseph's story is that he had an excellent excuse to maintain a bad attitude and even seek revenge if he ever caught sight of his older brothers. An EXCELLENT excuse. He went from FREE to SLAVE in the course of a moment. What he didn't know is that he had gone from ALIVE to DEAD in his father's eyes. How painful would this situation be? It's bad enough to be sold as a slave, but then to have your precious father believe that you've died...
But Joseph doesn't dwell on how he had been wronged and even comes to believe that God would choose to turn his situation around for good. In fact, when he comes face to face with his brothers, he doesn't come to them with an attitude of revenge. He doesn't come to them with murderous intentions. And in Genesis 50, after their father dies, Joseph reaffirms his forgiveness towards his older brothers.
What we learn from Joseph
We learn to trust God with the timing of His purpose for our lives. Sure, what Joseph's brothers did was pretty low, but even as they betrayed Joseph, God was working it all for Joseph's GOOD. God was working to see His plan accomplished through Joseph. Just because something bad happens to us doesn't mean that God can't use us through that situation.
We learn that even though we're in a waiting season, it doesn't mean that God can't use us. Everything Joseph put his hand to was blessed. The people he worked for reaped the benefit of God's favor on Joseph. Not only that, but they could trust in Joseph's character. If you notice, multiple bosses put Joseph in charge of something, never worrying about anything because they completely trusted Joseph. Joseph used each opportunity in his waiting season to do the best that he could with what he had. He chose to sport a good attitude. He chose to be helpful. He chose to go above and beyond rather than simply doing the bare minimum. None of his efforts were wasted! It all served a purpose!
Related Post: What's Holding You Back- Bitterness
We learn that the waiting season can sometimes look like a training season. Are we paying attention? In our training seasons, we learn to take on better attitudes, firm up integrity in our character, and we learn to lean in and trust God even more than before. We learn that God is faithful, no matter what the circumstances look like. The biggest difference I notice in Joseph is that in Genesis 37, we see an immature kid who seems to be a bit cocky with his calling. He freely tells it to his brothers, even though he knew they weren't his biggest fans. By the end of Joseph's story in Genesis 50, we see a man who has more control over his own speech and who has become humble, even in his great position in Egypt. Being successful could have made him even cockier, but instead, it reaffirmed his humility. Humility was the lesson in his training season!
Let's Discuss! Comment Below!
How can you use your own waiting season to prepare for what's ahead?