It is quite late. I’m tired. The wise thing to do would be to get some rest.
But I can’t help but think, hmmm… gotta put some tea on. And sit here for a moment and THINK.
I think perhaps one of the most common thought patterns we face as a species… aha… the ‘human’ species, is this: “Why does he or she have it all together…? Why am I the only one struggling with this or that…”
However, the more I talk with others, and engage in unscripted conversation, the more I realize how much all of us are the same.
We all love, fear, feel, hurt, dream…
I can think of some of the greatest leaders of all time, who we deem as wise and established individuals, and think of the journey’s all of those people had to go through. I could talk about many modern-day examples- but for some reason, the stories that hit me hardest are found in the Bible.
Genesis 37 the Life of Joseph.
Joseph is probably one of my favourite characters. His story is incredible.
I would try and re-tell, or summarize it here, but I feel I wouldn’t do justice. Go read it.
it’s a story about God leading a young man named Joseph to become a ruler in Egypt, yet Joseph gets so many mixed signals along the way. With every blessing God bestows, there seems to be a curse. The good showers, and the bad pours.
I think of all the time that goes by! Years of searching, and struggling. I look at Jospeh’s life on the whole and regardless of how beautiful the outcome is, I can’t help but hardly focus on the outcome at all. In fact, its all about Joseph’s years of struggle, and inward growth! Its about Joseph’s faith in a God that sometimes seems far too mysterious to trust.
I can only imagine Joseph at a very low point in his life, tired, dirty, alone late at night in the prison cell… looking at a very small but ever-so-needed window, wondering… “God, did you really tell me, that I would be a ruler?” I can imagine him rocking himself back and forth trying to find reason- trying to find purpose for the desert he was facing. And having nothing to go by- only the character of God that he trusted so strongly.
As Margaret Manning shares, “The deep fear behind every loss is that we have been abandoned by the God who should have saved us...”
Still, sometimes what we have defined as the problem, is not even the start of the greater problem. When Christ answered the Pharisees, he rarely actually answered their surface, or immediate questions. He answered the question that was more relevant- the question of the heart. They were trying to trap him, accusing him of certain deeds- and Jesus knew it wasn’t the deed they were concerned about, but rather who Jesus might in fact be.
As I’ve said many times, God is more concerned about how my heart is being shaped, and how my faith is growing, rather than fixing my situation. It is not hard for him to snap his finger and perform any task we ask. That part is easy. What is hard for any father, is knowing that the only way a Child can become stronger, is through exercise, through experience, and through suffering. God in his wisdom and grace allows us to go through hardship, so we can become more like Christ. When we realize our limits, and our idolatrous hearts return to worship the God who is the only giver of life- the only source from which our strength comes from, God displays his power.
I want to encourage you- who ever you are. I know that maybe you feel like you’re not so good at the whole ‘Trusting God thing” since you’ve been in the same place for so long. I know you wish that perhaps you could trade in some of your coloured money for a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card. Maybe you’re looking at the next guy beside you, feeling sick that he has it so good, and he doesn’t even try.
Chances are, the next guy beside you has his own little pocket of stress that he cries over. Chances are there are many people in your exact shoes. Do not think time is wasted. Do not think effort is wasted. God knows the situation you’re in. He could have saved it long time ago- but maybe he’s trying to give you something far greater- WISDOM.
Wisdom is priceless. Wisdom is not random knowledge… its knowledge that has been applied. True wisdom is the fear of God.
To fear God means to know God.
And to know God, is the greatest and most fulfilling kind of success here on earth.