Read Genesis 41:1-14
1When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, 2when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. 3After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. 4And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. 6After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted — thin and scorched by the east wind. 7The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream.
8In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.
9Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, "Today I am reminded of my shortcomings. 10Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. 11Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. 12Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. 13And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was hanged."
14So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh. (NIV)
Here we see that Joseph is finally remembered by the act of kindness he showed the chief cupbearer. It has been two years since Joseph asked the cupbearer to remember him before Pharaoh. It would be easy for Joseph to wonder why God was not listening to him or why God did not help him to escape this predicament he was in.
Yet we are given the implication that in those two years, Joseph continues to serve the jailer will all he has. He continues to put his trust in God. These are evident by what follows this passage.
This is one of the hardest lessons we can learn with following God and that is, his timetable is not ours. God knows what is going to happen. And he allows us to be in situations where we can respond in God’s name and be of great service. Trouble and delay are at times simply God knowing something good is coming down the road, but isn’t here yet.
Because of my moving as a pastor, Marilyn has been forced to look for new employment more often than others. This is true of military spouses. And the last two employment searches she had were interesting in how they ended. At the beginning of the search, one is hoping to find a job quickly. But when it doesn’t happen, that is when we must trust. In both cases, the job she found was not available at the time she started her search. Each job has been a good job that she liked. If she had settled for something quicker, it would not have been the blessing God had for her. But waiting if hard. Waiting for God’s timing can be frustrating. It is up to us to learn to lean on God’s love to find peace in that waiting.
And I believe that God wants to have joy in receiving, but he knows we must wait when we don’t. A mother shares a story of the time she was shopping with her small son. He saw a toy and begged his mom to buy it. At the time, she wanted to please him, but she also knew that in a few weeks, he was going to have birthday party and she had picked out a present that he really wanted that was much better than the toy he asked for this day. If she gave him that toy, there would not be the money to give him what he really wanted. He had to wait. And he grieved making him wait, but she did knowing the great joy it would bring later.
When going through tough times, we must learn to wait on God. In waiting, we continue to live the lives we have been given. We do the good we can and love those we can. And in due time, God will restore the tears and the pain. We must simply wait in trust.
Have you had times where you wanted something done with only to find that later the situation became much better than expected? I think that is what is good about journaling as we see God’s timeline for our lives much clearer. How do you wait during times of stress and worry? How do you stay connected to God when life tells you otherwise? I think we can learn from one another by sharing how we do.
Blessings and Peace