Thursday, March 5, 2009

The God of the waiting.

Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.
Genesis 40:23

joseph in prison This is not the ending to this scene in Joseph's life that we want. We would hope that upon restoration to the court of Pharaoh, the cupbearer would immediately tell the king of Joseph's plight. But that was not the case. The human foibles in this story give it such plausibility. It is the ring of historical truth. Human beings forget their good fortune and encouragement. And that is what happened.

Evidently God had His reasons for keeping Joseph in prison for two more years. Perhaps it was to keep Joseph at the ready. Perhaps it was to teach the young man further lessons of trust. Perhaps it was to keep him humble so that when indeed he was called upon, it would be in a way that God would get the glory. And that is exactly what will happen. Joseph will be remembered by the cupbearer, not as a victim of injustice, but as a gifted interpreter of dreams, which was just what the Pharaoh needed.

Waiting is no fun. It is no fun in tragic circumstances. When our routine is reduced down to day after day after day of what we do not like or want, we might be tempted to forget God. And it is just those times when we need to trust Him most. God is using the pit of the prison. He is waiting for His time to bring us out in such a way as He is clearly in control. We must wait. But we will find God at work even in the waiting.

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