Friday, September 4, 2020

Are You a "Joseph?"

Things are unfair. 

I don’t know about you, but I really struggle with things being unfair. I want to whine like a little girl, “But that’s sooooo unnffaaaiiiir!” I think I internally hope and expect for someone to fix it. I’ve quickly learned life doesn’t quite work that way – as much as I’d prefer it to.

Sometimes life simply stinks.

I think, “Don’t they know how wrong they are being?” or “If they could only get to know me or my child, (or fill-in-the-blank) they’d feel so badly that this happened to us! Again – not the case.

Not everyone likes me. Not everyone likes my kids, or my family. Or they do like us, but they have their own interests in mind and are prioritizing something that matters more to them.

Life hurts.

When my daughter was in high school, something that our family thought was unfair happened to her. We thought she got a really raw deal in a certain situation. It wasn’t the first time, and I was just upset about it all. I did my thing – trying to fix it for her. No go. Then I got angry. Then I pouted. Then I went to the Lord (which of course I should have done in the first place.) God softened my heart and helped me get to the point where I saw that I needed to help my daughter process and grow in this unfair situation, instead of focusing so much on my own feelings, and how I was “ticked” about what had occurred.

He brought “Joseph” to my mind. 

Joseph from the Bible. Heard the story many times. Took it in and let it flow right back on out. Until God showed me how to apply it to that very moment and situation.

I talked to my daughter and I was able to share with her how I felt God wanted her to handle this particular situation. 

I told her that some things are unfair. Very unfair. But I asked her if she remembered the story of Joseph. I said, “Do you remember how Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery?”  I proceeded to tell her how Joseph didn’t deserve that. It was unfair. Many things in Joseph’s life were unfair. Prison was unfair. But Joseph did the best he could in each situation. He flourished in each position he entered into. He continued to be the best he could be, even though he didn’t deserve to be there. And God rewarded him.  We all know how Joseph ended up working for the king, resulting in him saving his brothers and family from starvation.

Joseph turned lemons into lemonade. He didn’t go looking for a reward. He didn’t strive for “better.” He simply did the best where he was, and with what he had. 

That’s what God asks of us. Sometimes we are “Joseph’s.” We are in a place, a situation, or a role that isn’t fair. But we need to flourish where we are, for God has a reason for us being there. We need to have integrity, honor, and pride in who we are as God’s servants – and be faithful.

This was the lesson I shared with my daughter on that day.

I think it helped somewhat. I know it helped me. I’ve not soon forgotten that lesson, and I’ve brought it up several times since that day. For I’m reminded that God knows where I am, and what I’m going through. It doesn’t matter if I’m in a prison, a desert, school, or a home where things are hard and unfair. I need to give my all and BE my all for the Lord.

For if I’m faithful to God He will be faithful to me.

How many other Bible “stories” could help us in our today’s and our “now’s?” How many of them do we overlook?

When their lessons are so deep, so relevant, and so powerful.

SO timely.

Joseph was there for us on that day. Maybe he can be there for you, too.

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