You remember Joseph who got a fabulous coat from his dad, and aggrivated his brothers so much that they sold him into slavery?

 He was one pressed down dude. Joseph could have moaned and groaned and said he didn’t belong in slavery, particularly when he had been sent to prison, but he didn’t. Joseph didn’t let circumstances stop him from using his abilities and leadership qualities. His mouthy attitude was pressed out of him in those circumstances, however. Far from being the defensive pampered son, Joseph found that life’s circumstances didn’t change who he was, what his abilities were, what his gifts were to offer those around him.

He discovered that true leadership is being a capable servant to others.  He was given charge of his master’s household and later in jail he was given charge over the prisoners. Perhaps we can call it a gift of administration or the cream rising to the top.

Joseph used his, by now polished, gift of interpreting dreams while he was in prison. When the cup-bearer was released as Joseph predicted, Joseph merely asked him to remind Pharaoh of him. This is a more humble stance than what he demonstrated in his earlier days. He stated his case without being boastful.

The cup-bearer forgot all about Joseph. It took two years before Pharaoh was troubled by dreams. Only then did God remind the cup-bearer to mention Joseph’s interpretive capabilities. Circumstances may stink, but God’s perfect timing is God’s perfect timing where everything is in place and everything falls into place. Don’t look for recognition in the wrong places. The true love of your life, your Creator, is ever mindful of you and your needs. Only God knows all the moves of the chess game of life.

Dani Johnson has pointed out that what you do in the famine determines what your plenty is going to look like. When you are in plenty, it determine the quality of your famine. We see this after Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams. A limited number of years of plenty were revealed and then a terrible famine. Out of respect for Joseph’s insight and wisdom, Pharaoh put him in charge of administering all of Egypt. God’s favour on Joseph brought Egypt prosperity during a time of famine due to Joseph’s prudence during a time of plenty.

Circumstances can be a roller-coaster ride, yet we can be steady through all things. Joseph was favoured son, then sold as slave, then favoured servant, then imprisoned, then second in command in a country. He stayed steady in his gifting, no matter the circumstances. If he had not used his gift in prison, he never would have become second in command in Egypt, making it the wealthy country it became feeding peoples far and wide.

No matter how you feel about your circumstances, use your gift. Do not scorn the small stuff. People matter, no matter who they are. Dealing with people equitably no matter what the circumstance builds skill and character for the future. 

Janet Wiebe

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