Genesis 40:1 Some time after this, the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker offended their lord the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3 and he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined… 5 One night they both dreamed—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison—each his own dream, and each dream with its own meaning… 8 They said to him, “We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.”
The story of Joseph begins when he is a teenager and the youngest of 12 sons of Jacob. God has given Joseph the powerful gift of interpreting dreams. However as a boy he is reckless with the gift, using it in inappropriate ways at inappropriate times – and gets himself in lots of trouble. In short order Joseph goes from being his father’s youngest and favorite son to being a prisoner in an Egyptian dungeon. Time in the dungeon has humbled Joseph, which is evident in this passage and the chapters that follow.
Joseph was gifted by God long before he was mature enough to be useful to the Lord. But God was not done with him. Years later Joseph would save his entire family from famine, including his 11 brothers who with Joseph would become the 12 tribes of Israel.
I think back on my early years as a Christian and then as a pastor. I think I’ve always had some discernible gifting, but boy did I lack maturity. I’d like to think I’ve grown up some in the last 25 years but I know the Lord isn’t done with me yet. Maybe you relate to Joseph today. You feel trapped, not living the life you wanted or expected – stuck “in prison” of sorts. It’s normal to wonder, “Where are you God?” It’s possible there is purpose in the hardship you are enduring right now. It could be the Lord is getting you ready to do wonderful things for the Kingdom of God and for the name of Jesus. Hang in there!
Lord it is so difficult to endure hard seasons of life, especially when we don’t know where this all leads. Give us grace to trust you with our future when we can’t yet see it. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.