Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him. Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said. Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
Someday, like today for me, you will realize you have gotten to a point in your life where the moves that God has you making do not seem to make sense to others. And that’s okay, because your purpose is to trust and rest in God, fulfilling God’s will for your life. Today I was reminded of the stories of Joseph and Abraham as I realized that what God has me doing does not make sense to outsiders (this is the MAIN reason God had me learn to keep my mouth shut). I’m perfectly okay with it because I see how He has confirmed His word to me time and time again.
For some, it does not make sense to go back to the old office where I was thrown under the bus time after time, overlooked for my promotion, discriminated against, harassed and undervalued (hey it doesn’t make very much sense to me either lol hahaha). It does not make sense to stay in a technical job when I am in law school to ultimately change careers some day. It does not make sense to move back to South Carolina after I did everything I could to move to New Orleans. But that’s okay too.
I shared Joseph’s story first because he had to hold on to the dreams that God gave him even when his own family was jealous of him. Sometimes you will get to a point in your walk with God where you have to hold on to what He told/showed you even when others doubt and do not believe it. But Joseph experienced accusation and demotion–being accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison after being sold into slavery by his own brothers. It was all part of God’s plan because at the right time, God elevated him to second in command only to Pharaoh! (see Genesis 41) The road may temporarily get lonely, but you are not crazy, keep your eyes on God and keep trusting Him.
Even more similar to my situation is Abraham’s own journey. In fact, before moving here, I taught bible study on Abraham’s great faith, and God has reminded me of it many times throughout my stay here. Genesis 12:1 states God’s decree to Abram (before God changed his name): The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you." Later in verse 4 Abram leaves for Canaan with the promise that God would make him a great nation among many other amazing blessings. He arrives, and takes the lesser land after he and his nephew Lot decide on splitting the land. Then in verse 10 Abram leaves– "Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe." To most it would seem crazy to uproot yourself and all your family and possessions from your family. But to leave the "promised land" is even crazier. Yet still, there was purpose in Abraham’s temporary departure. Abraham left Egypt more wealthy than he went!
In both of these radical faith situations, Joseph and Abraham had to be willing to trust God despite what others thought. It was their faith that paid off for them. God increased them at the appointed time and used the detours as part of the overall plan to elevate them to their destiny.
So I encourage myself today and I hope this blesses you…don’t give up when circumstances try to make you question the things God has revealed to you. Don’t give up when you are told you are confused or crazy. As long as it is God’s voice you are listening to, you will get to your promised land–whether it is actually a place, a person, or simply a place in Him.
The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”