Have you ever heard of the story of Joseph? What's interesting to me, is that even as I write this I think of Joseph and his coat of many colors. I think of how in the title of the story it incites feelings of happiness and optimism. I think of how anything multicolored makes you think of rainbows and who isn't happy when you think of rainbows? Am I right?
But have you paid attention to the details in that story? Don't get me wrong it is a story of ultimate triumph and victory. It's one of my favorite examples of God having the final say in a matter. It's the epitome of God turning around a situation that was intended to harm and destroy into a season of plenty and prosperity.
However, from start to finish the story of Joseph lasts for about 22 years. Joseph was 17 when his father openly displayed that he was his favorite by giving him an expensive coat of many colors. After this, Joseph has two dreams that dramatically change his life forever.
He dreams first that his brothers will some day bow to him. He then dreams that not only will his brothers bow to him, but so will his parents. Joseph, sweet boy that he was, did not think that his father's open display of preference and his dreams of eventual ascendancy would drive his brothers so severely into jealousy that they would plot his death.
Which, in fact, they did.
One brother had enough presence of mind to not want to commit fratricide, so he bargained with his brothers to sell Joseph into slavery instead. While in slavery, Joseph manages to make the best of a terrible situation and becomes head of his master's house. Unfortunately, Joseph was almost too good because he caught the eye of the master's wife. She tries to seduce him, but Joseph thought it unwise to commit adultery with his master's wife and literally ran away from temptation. It turns out that although Joseph is a good man, he isn't exactly a fast man. While Joseph was trying to get away, the master' s wife was able to tear off a piece of his clothing. Using the torn piece of Joseph's clothing as proof, she twists the story and goes to her husband crying rape.
Joseph's Master understandably upset after only hearing one side of the story, sends Joseph to jail. Once again Joseph's good character and godly favor work on his behalf, because even in prison he manages to rise to a place of power. While in prison, Joseph ends up rubbing elbows with the king's chief of butlers and chief of bakers after they committed some crime against the king and end up in prison themselves. Joseph though enslaved, and then imprisoned, hasn't lost his ability to dream and interpret dreams. So when the chief of bakers and chief of butlers have some troubling dreams, Joseph steps in to save the day.
Long story short, this was Joseph's in to the king's palace and his aforementioned ascendancy. That's 13 years between dream and Pharoah's house and another 9 years until the dreams actually come true. Which means that Joseph was 39 years old by the time he was fully walking in the position of power and favor God had planned for him all along. (Genesis 37-45)
I have to be honest with you: I don't have that kind of patience.
Thankfully, I'd like to believe that I now have enough faith in God that, if put in Joseph's situation, He wouldn't allow me to die. But somewhere between being sold into slavery and being framed for rape, I may have just threw my hands up and said, "What's the point???"
This is not an admission I am proud of. It's actually a skill that I am actively working to improve. My ability to be able to patiently wait on God is in direct correlation with my faith in who God is and who God is in my life.
To become so impatient with God that I abandon His direction, says that I don't trust that in my darkest hours He will still fulfill His will in my life. Numbers 23:19 says, "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?" (KJV)
God said what He said.
No amount of urgency, or impatience I may feel will ever overpower God's perfect timing. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, " To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:" This isn't a scripture subjective to how I feel about what I'm going through. This scripture stands true when things are going great, when things are going terribly, when things feel like they are at a stalemate, or when things feel like they are moving too fast. God's timing is still the only timing that matters. He knows just when to do what needs to be done and He doesn't need our help to do it. God only requires our patience, obedience and faith so that we don't miss out when He's ready to move.
Could you imagine how much differently, or even God forbid, how much longer it could've taken for Joseph's dreams to manifest, if he did not willingly submit himself to God's timing in his life?
I shudder at the thought.
Joseph remained faithful. He did not allow his circumstances to redefine his character or shatter his faith. Instead, at every opportunity he gave space for God to be glorified. How? By simply doing all the good he knew to do.
Join me in this prayer: God, I trust You. It's not always easy and it's not always comfortable, but I know that You always have my best interest in mind. God help me to stay patient and obedient while you continue to move on my behalf. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Declare victory over impatience today! Choose to live your life as though God is going to change it any minute.