The Patience of Joseph

Joseph made his morning rounds at the prison.  He checked to make certain that each prisoner had his daily supply of bread and water.  He checked the locks.  All were secure.  He made his daily report on the condition of the prisoners to his superior, the keeper of the prison.

Then  he sat alone in his cubicle for he too was a prisoner, never allowed to go outside the prison grounds, never allowed to have a life of his own–his only friends the other inmates.

Usually his responsibilities at the prison kept him so busy that he scarcely had time to think, but today he was thinking:   about his brothers and how they had sold him into slavery when he had brought them provisions from his father;  about how he had served Potiphar, the Captain of the Guard, and had been entrusted with all Potiphar’s possessions; about how Potiphar’s wife had falsely accused him of assaulting her, resulting in his being imprisoned.

Joseph remembered how he had correctly interpreted the cupbearer’ dream and asked for his help when he was restored to his position.  It had been two years since that incident, and there was no indication that the cupbearer had ever mentioned Joseph’s name to King Pharaoh.

Joseph remembered dreams from his childhood–dreams that had seemed to indicate that he would become royalty.  What was that all about?    He had been imprisoned in a foreign land for years.  Now those dreams seemed little more than childhood imaginations.  Joseph asked for the Lord’s help lest he become bitter with disappointment.   He had tried to do everything right.  How had everything turned out so wrong?  He relinquished those dreams to the Lord.  He would fulfill God’s purpose for him, whatever it entailed.  Peace swept over his spirit.

In the highest Heaven, the Father turned to the Son and the Holy Spirit.  “Look at my servant, Joseph,”  he commented.  “His pride has turned to humility, his dependence on self to dependence on God, his stubbornness has been replaced with yieldedness.  He is ready.  Send the dream to pharaoh.  The seven years of good crops are about to begin.”

Back at Joseph’s cell there was a knock on the door.  Joseph was being summoned!  Before the day was out Joseph had correctly interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and had been elevated to second in command over the land of Egypt!  Joseph’s patience had been rewarded.

****

Wait for the Lord and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land;  Psalm 37:34
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