A Waiting Place

By on April 23, 2012

Have you ever sacrificed tomorrow by worrying about it today? When I find myself fretting over tomorrow, or next week or month or year, I remember Joseph. Beginning in Genesis 37, Joseph’s amazing story takes decades to come to fruition.

Joseph’s first waiting time is spent being tormented by his step-brothers. Joseph, the darling of his mother, Rachel and his father, Jacob, was hated by his step-brothers, the ten sons of Jacob and other women, including Leah, Rachel’s sister. Rachel would later die while giving birth to Benjamin, Joseph’s brother and the youngest of the clan, but Rachel was Jacob’s great love and Jacob transferred that great love to Joseph and Benjamin.

Remember Joseph’s coat of many colors? Jacob had that coat made to demonstrate his love and Joseph wore his coat proudly. He was so secure in his father’s love, he failed to see his step-brothers hatred which was born of jealousy. Joseph even had dreams that foretold his future greatness but, unwisely, this teenager told his older brothers, and, save Benjamin, all hated him even more!

One day, Jacob sends Joseph to check on his brothers who were tending sheep some days journey away from camp. As Joseph approached, his step-brothers saw him and began plotting. They decided to throw Joseph into an empty well, tear his coat from him, dip it into animal’s blood and tell everyone a wild animal had eaten Joseph. Later, one step-brother, Judah, perhaps having a change of heart, convinced his brothers to instead sell Joseph into slavery to the Midianite merchants. This they do and seventeen year old Joseph begins his long walk to Egypt.

Another time of waiting begins with Joseph, stumbling along, perhaps with other slaves, certainly hands bound and tethered to a camel. While moving, a time of waiting and time to ponder the awful why? Why had his brothers hated him so? Why had they betrayed him? What would happen to him? Would he ever see his family again? Why? Why? WHY!?

In Egypt, a miracle! Potiphar, a captain in Pharaoh’s army bought Joseph, and took him home where Joseph rose to the top level of importance, second only to Potiphar. Another time of waiting but now in a good place…for a while.

Then, Potiphar’s wife begins advances toward Joseph and, daily, she tries to seduce him. Joseph always declines her advances but, time and time again, becoming more and more insistent until, one day, she tries to embrace Joseph. He escapes but leaves his coat behind (What is it with Joseph and coats?) Potiphar, believing his wife’s story of Joseph attacking her, throws Joseph into prison and another time of waiting begins but now in a bad place.

Yet, as it would later be said, “you meant if for evil but God worked it for good” and Joseph again rose to a level of importance, second only to the prison warden. Those years of waiting weren’t in vain…in every place of waiting, Joseph learned skills that would serve him well in his future capacity as second only to Pharaoh over all Egypt. In his waiting places, Joseph learned useful skills of public relations, time management and accounting. He learned how to run Potiphar’s household and, in prison, he learned conservation and accounting making the food and mouths come out even. He learned not to carry a grudge against all those who had wronged him, beginning with his family. He was tenacious and held strongly to his faith and God’s promises in spite of the times of waiting that were in dark places, when he was wrongfully accused, forgotten or mistreated.

God used each time and place of waiting to mold Joseph and to build skills he would need when God used Joseph to save the entire middle east from famine! It’s one of my favorite stories in the Bible and one I never tire of reading or hearing.

Do you strain against your waiting place? Yeah, me too, and, sometimes, I sacrifice tomorrow by worrying today. What if, what if, what if? Yet, God knows and understands and tells us, “today has enough troubles, don’t worry about tomorrow; today is all you can handle.”

Great advice, isn’t it? Please God, help me heed Your great advice.

 

Originally posted on Thistle Cove Farm.

About Thistle Cove Farm

After more than four decades, Sandra Bennett's dream of living on a farm came true, and now lives her dream at Thistle Cove Farm. She writes, photographs, and plans her next travel adventure while teaching workshops in Increasing Small Business and Farm Income; Networking and Partnering and Fleece Management. She's taught at University and in Russia, Armenia, Georgia and at different fiber festivals in the eastern USA. Dave, her beloved husband, passed away in 2011 so now Sandra is learning financial management. Please visit Thistle Cove Farm , her lifestyle blog: http://thistlecovefarm.blogspot.com/, and Wife to Widow blog: http://www.1wifetowidow.blogspot.com/ where she helps you be “proactive, not reactive."

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A Waiting Place