“I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.” – Genesis 12:2.
The story of Joseph spans many chapters, Genesis 37-50. Joseph had a lot of things going his way in life at first. He was handsome. He was the first son born to Jacob through Rachel, and therefore, he was his father’s favorite son. He had great dreams that made him feel good about himself. But at the age of 17, just when one is supposed to be dreaming dreams about the future and beaming with bright hopes of being accepted into Florida State University, life takes a pointed turn for Joseph. His brothers don’t take him to see the Seminoles play Clemson, or teach him about dating girls. They hate him so much that they throw him into an empty pit.
Joseph is not at Starbucks drinking a caramel macchiato. Joseph is in a pit. No Internet surfing, no access to email, no Facebook friendship, no Netflix, no texting or tweeting. Life is the pits and his future is in there with him. Or so it seems.
His brothers sell him into slavery. They are not interested at all in his future. They’re cold and callous and uncaring. After being sold into slavery, he was framed as an adulterer, forgotten in prison and endured seven years of famine.
There will be detours in life and sometimes life may even feel like the pits. In those times, investing in the future seems at best, futile. But God is at work in hidden ways.The Bible describes some dark and difficult times in Joseph’s life. But it also reveals that every time he faced adversity, he used it to develop himself personally and to build trust with others. As a result, Joseph made one comeback after another and proved himself trustworthy.
In Joseph’s case, his future was deferred but it was not ultimately denied. He kept going and eventually became the second-in-command in Egypt. He went from the pit to the palace, because God’s plan can’t be stopped.
Joseph’s story reveals that setbacks may just be setups for comebacks. You get to decide that you are going to restart your dreams for the future or let them fade away. I encourage you to continue to invest in the future with your time, skills and gifts and trust God to do His part.
- With the injustices Joseph suffered, what sustained him? What would sustain you in those events?
- How can you continue to invest in your future when your dreams for the future seem shattered?