Ever feel like you can’t get any lower? Things can’t possibly get worse – can they? And then they do.
Life is like that sometimes. And sometimes (sometimes), it really is not your fault. You search your heart and wrack your brains… “was it something I said?” In all honesty, you can’t find a single reason why you have ended up in the pit.
I’m reading the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis at the moment. He was hated by his brothers, and in a moment of spite and hatred, they stripped him of his precious coat and dumped him in the bottom of a dry well. With screams and tears the teenager begs for mercy. Heartlessly, they sell him into slavery and spin a believable lie to their broken hearted dad.
Sometimes things look on the up. A glimmer of light, a kind word, a new day. Joseph experiences these moments too, but everyone of them is smashed. A false accusation puts him in prison. A forgetful butler leaves him there for two more years. Undeserved, painful and forgotten.
But, in it all there is a ray of unbroken sunshine. The Bible says ‘God was with him.’
To be honest, I don’t know how much or how often he actually knew or felt that God was with him, but the statement is stark and true – God was with him! Sometimes I don’t feel like God is with me either…
So what happened? Well, to be honest, Joseph is not the most likeable person in the beginning of the story. The author and speaker RT Kendall says about Joseph’s amazing coat that “the one thing worse than giving the coat is actually wearing it,” and he wears it, with pride, every day.
However, the guy who survives the pit and the prison emerges different. Gone is the pride, the youthful arrogance, the ‘sense of entitlement.’ Joseph gives up his coat (he actually loses two coats in the story), and gains character. I like the guy who comes out of prison, and with quiet, God-given humility, interprets Pharaoh’s dreams and suggests the wisest course of action to pursue.
Someone has said that it takes a lot of ‘manure’ (or something like that) to make the roses grow. The smell of the rose is certainly sweeter than what it grows in. And I think of Joseph. And I think about you and me. I don’t always enjoy the journey, but knowing, (whether I always feel it or not), that God is with me, means that the destination will be worth it. Submitting and surrendering my heart and life to him, I may lose many things, but I will grow character. With God in my life, I may just discover that I really do mature in the manure.