“…and so get me out of this house.” – Genesis 40:14
Has that been you? Do you look at your life and wish you could just get to where you’re going and not be so detoured by the darkness that has encroached upon you? I think about that often. When will this season be over? When will our family grow, not in grave sites but in our arms at home? And sometimes I imagine what life would be like if this season of darkness and loss and loneliness was just a really bad dream and never really happened. What would life be like if I was chasing after a 1 year old who was learning to walk and mumble sounds that had the resemblance of words and then stress about how I was going to handle a newborn and I didn’t have time for things like what I’m doing now, sitting in my chair, writing. It is those times when I think of what my life could’ve been, or what it will be like when I just get out of this season that I become the most discontent and unsatisfied. A quite unhealthy place to be, but let’s just be honest, it’s a place all of us are tempted to linger in for a little too long when we are in the midst of the hardness of life. The grass is always greener somewhere else… right? And here is where I’m discovering that though it’s okay to want out, what does it look like to choose in to the place of darkness God has called me to, to walk with Him in it. Joseph lived liked this. The more I read of his story the more I am amazed at this man Joseph. He wanted out. He said it in Genesis 40:14,15 to a man whose dream he had just interpreted and now will be face to face with Pharaoh while Joseph is still in prison. So Joseph says to him:
“Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house. For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit.”
So what happens?
“…yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.” – Genesis 40: 23
And for TWO MORE WHOLE years, Joseph was left in prison.
At this point Joseph had been in Egypt for 13 years and though I don’t know how long he had been in prison before this, it is clear that things aren’t necessarily getting better for him. Wouldn’t you want out? Wouldn’t you say “Get me out of this house, this prison! I was wrongfully put here, I did nothing to deserve this… please tell who needs to be told that I don’t belong here.” And here is where we, in our culture of comfort and ease, can often find ourselves either growing bitter towards this God we serve, or doing everything we can to get out of the circumstance we find ourselves. Yet, this is not what Joseph did. He was honest about wanting OUT and yet was faithful IN. He continued to honor God, to attribute God’s power where God’s power was due and there is nothing that leads us to believe that his heart was bitter or his chief aim was getting out of his affliction. Somewhere along the way God was building in him a deep understanding of himself that continued to sustain and dictate how Joseph lived. So much so that 7 years after Joseph found himself out of prison and in the highest position of authority next to Pharaoh, he was able to say “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” Genesis 41:52.
Kevin and I are learning to embrace (yes, I said embrace) this season of sorrow and suffering. To embrace it as an integral part of our story and not just chapters that are simply a detour to the good chapters, where life goes the way we had hoped. But life hasn’t gone the way we had hoped, and we are discovering that these may in fact be part of the good chapters in our lives. Even as I write this, I find myself thinking of all the goodness in these chapters, all the joy, life and hope! Sometimes it’s hard to see those things in the midst of painful circumstances, deep disappointment and sorrow. But these are the chapters that are leading us to more of Jesus then we ever knew we could experience, to more hope planted in the right places then we ever knew we needed dug up and re-planted, to more joy that is far deeper and rooted in Christ then we knew He could bring. Oh I pray that we can say like Joseph “God has made me fruitful IN the land of my affliction”. In it, not out of it. This is who our God is, and who He continues to be to us, the One who meets us IN our affliction. In the places we may think we are least likely to find treasures, here is where in our affliction we find a God who delivers us TO HIMSELF. To know Him, IN it. Well, that is where the deepest treasures of our God is, if we’re willing to dig IN it.
Questions for reflection:
- What dark areas of your life are you just waiting anxiously to pass and get out of?
- What would it look like to allow God to meet you IN the darkness?
- What areas of your life is God calling you to press into and not just wish your way out of?
- Think of what treasures of who God is have been more engraved on your heart in seasons of darkness?
Tomorrow’s passage (Day 27)
Still with Joseph, (we’re becoming buddies) in Genesis 42-45
Kevin was gone this week on a work trip, but we’re headed to pick him up tonight (insert excited emojis!). So my mom came to be with me and we made some fun memories! So here are some of my LIGHT moments this week…
Dasah got to go on a little tour around the world in celebration of turning 35 weeks with her Nini at Epcot’s Food and Wine festival… first time for mom and Dasah! We ate some delicious food, saw some incredible acrobats in China, watched Billy Ocean (old school… okay, I really didn’t know who he was let’s be honest) and finished our world tour with fireworks.. of course!
and then in the evening this happened…
I know, I know, I caved. Let’s just say Dasah wanted to sleep with Toby… and of course, I had to make that memory happen for her.