I thought I knew the story of Joseph inside out. But this week I have been challenged to look at the intricate details of it and found out so much more hiding there! Welcome to our third week meditating on patience and what this spiritual fruit really means. Does it just mean waiting, does it mean staying silent and not putting up a fight? Well lets have a look together.
Joseph had a dream
The last couple of weeks we have looked at both Hannah and Abraham, both of whom had a desire to have children. This week is quite different. Joseph’s focus wasn’t on children, and it wasn’t on his offspring. Instead, Joseph had a dream. You remember the one – where all his brothers bowed down to him? Now I am sure all of us can relate to this. We may not all want children or struggle to have children like Hannah or Abraham, but surely all of us have some sort of dream? An aspiration, a vision of what the future might hold?
Unfortunately for Joseph he was a bit too young and naive to understand this dream (or what it might imply to his brothers!) and he went blabbing it about. This got him in quite a bit of trouble, and he ended up a slave and then thrown into prison. Quite the opposite of said dream! But during all this we can learn a lot from Joseph about patience.
1. we should serve in the waiting
Joseph did a lot of stuff before his dream came to fruition. But one thing that always stands out to me about Joseph is his attitude. He never grumbles or moans or goes on about his dream and what he deserves. He just gets on with life and serves the best he can. He got a good reputation and was constantly being promoted.
We don’t always go from school straight into the end goal of our lives. Most of us have to journey through a lot of stuff before we get to our dream. But that stuff and time is not wasted. If we know the Holy Spirit, then we know that it is all useful for training us up for the future. We can be patient for our dream to come when we are trusting in God because we know that it will. But we shouldn’t just sit and mope around. Instead, seek out ways to serve during that waiting and be the best at everything that comes your way. Prove your character and that you are worthy of that dream!
2. we should put the dream out of our minds in the waiting
Yes it is good to have dreams, but we shouldn’t fixate on them or over analyse them. That is what got Joseph into a bit of trouble in the prison. Now most of the time, after telling his brothers, Joseph kept his dream out of his mind. But I imagine sitting in a prison cell gives you a lot of time for thinking, planning and plotting (and taking things into our own hands!). This brings us to this weeks meditation verse:
This is what Joseph said to the cupbearer when he got the good news that he was being restored to his position. Now I’m not sure about you (and I will leave you to make your mind up about this one!) but does this show a bit of impatience? Does this show that Joseph doesn’t trust that God will get him out of there and fulfill his dream? I think Joseph is trying to take back the control here – he has thought about his dream all those lonely hours (especially after when the recent topic of conversations has been dreams) and decided that enough’s enough. If the cupbearer is getting out then this is my window of opportunity.
But do you know what God said to that? He knew Joseph wasn’t quite ready – he needed to learn a bit more patience and to trust in God before taking up his position, and Joseph had to wait another two years before his chance came.
“The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. When two full years had passed, Pharoah had a dream.” Genesis 40:23- 41:1
3. we should enjoy the waiting as it makes us ready
Who on earth would have put weedy little Joseph, a spoilt daddy’s boy with a colourful coat, in charge of all the food for an entire nation? I certainly wouldn’t! But the Joseph we see at the end of this story is a very different man to the one at the beginning. I am sure we would say the same about ourselves when we think back 5/10 years. But lets not look back. Instead lets look forward at our dream and not be sad or disheartened because we are not there yet, but just rejoice and enjoy what will happen over the next 5/10/20/50 years to make us the people we need to be to thrive in that dream!
Now don’t get me wrong – this isn’t easy. It is a choice. Much like the other fruit of the spirit, we have to actively choose to delight in the waiting and to be patient. But if we are walking in the spirit and are getting closer every day to our maker, then it will be an easy decision to make. When we are spiritually mature then we can see that God knows the right timing of things more than we do, and we stop being selfish and wanting everything now. Instead we look on and wait for the most perfect of timing that is God’s. What a miracle that perfect timing is!
For our final week on patience (and gosh, hasn’t this been a tough month!) we will be looking at the character of David with this verse as our focus:
“How long Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” Psalm 13:1
Naomi will be hosting the summary post over on her blog, so make sure you hop over there! If you would like to get more support in how to do Mummy Meditations and join our community chatting about it during the week, then please sign up below: