I’ve had this phrase in my mind for a couple of days and just this morning I was reminded of Joseph’s life (Genesis 37-45). The parts that aren’t typically talked about are what were highlighted to me. Not in a way to dwell on pain, but to look at in a way to bring about revelation and healing.
When he was thrown into the pit, he was young, he experienced abuse, betrayal and stripped of his inheritance. I began to think about what he could have been going through in that dark isolation. Everything he knew and was comfortable with was gone.
He went from a position in his family to a slave for strangers. As he was brought into slavery, any and all dignity was stripped away and put in a place of humiliation. All he had was on display for everyone to see.
He regained some dignity and grabbed a hold of some purpose as a servant, but it didn’t reflect his dreams. Then, in the midst of that, he was thrown into prison; another place of isolation and solitude. In that solitude he found some purpose, but once again, it was not any reflection of the dreams given him.
It took thirteen years from the pit to the palace and for his dreams to come true.
That thirteen-year journey brought forgiveness, understanding, wisdom and maturity.
I often wonder how long it took him to forgive his brothers after what they did to him. Did he forgive them as he journeyed into Egypt? If so, did he experience anger with them again as he stood on the auction block? Maybe at that time, a deeper level of forgiveness came. Not only did he have to process through forgiveness for his brothers, he had to grieve the separation from his father. He had to accept his “new normal”, as a servant which was something much less than he had dreamed.
I’m sure he had questioned the validity of those dreams in the past. Were they really for him? Because nothing about his circumstances had any sliver of those dreams embedded in them. Yet…through all of this, God was with him and had favor on him. He had favor and comfort in the most unfavorable and uncomfortable situations.
When nothing adds up, God is up to something. Because in the midst, finding some purpose in your pain, isolation and service may very well be the time and place to launch you into the court of the king. In that one moment, his service was remembered and instantly his dreams from the past were given breath.
He was finally ready to handle the size of those dreams. He now knew true forgiveness, he knew grief, he knew what isolation and humiliation felt like, pride was gone and through all of those lessons, he learned his identity in The One that created him. He grew in a relationship that in turn reflected the Heavenly Father; his servant heart, humility, wisdom, unconditional love that manifested his dreams from long ago in a way that not only benefited himself, but brought favor and provision upon the entire country.
If you’ve been given big dreams, be ready to go through some big learning experiences. These God-sized dreams are not for our benefit, but for the lives He will use us to reach. It is always about Jesus and the ones that need Him.
Every single thing we go through, will be used for His good! Absolutely nothing is wasted!
Luke 12:48 “…from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” “
Gen. 45:5, 7-8 “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you…….But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God…”
Rom. 8:28 “And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”