And, suddenly…

You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command; only with regard to the throne shall I be greater than you…Removing his signet ring from his hand, Pharaoh put it on Joseph’s hand; he arrayed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. He had him ride in the chariot if his second-in-command; and they cried out in front of him “Bow the knee!” Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt. Genesis 41: 42 – 43 (New Revised Standard Version)

As a young man living with his brothers and parents, Joseph had dreams that depicted him in a position of leadership. His father loved him dearly and often favored him over his brothers. But, out of jealousy, his brothers sold him into slavery and his formerly tranquil life was completely turned upside down.

He went from favored son, to slave, to servant in a rich man’s house, to prisoner. Have you had those times in your life when things seem to get a bit better, and then all of a sudden, BAM! Does life sometimes seem like a yo-yo; up and down, down then up…rinse and repeat? Joseph knew what that was like. He must have been terrified when he was thrown into a pit and sold into slavery by his own brothers; desperate and alone, he must have wondered what would become of him. When Potiphar bought him, Genesis 39: 2 tells us that “The Lord was with Joseph and he became a successful man…in the house of his Egyptian master.” So, Joseph became a successful servant. He was placed over all the other servants and was second only to his master. He probably thought to himself “You know, this isn’t so bad.” He could live with that. He had some security, safety and influence.

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But, suddenly, it was all snatched away from him: his master’s wife falsely accused him of sexually assaulting her and he was thrown into prison – the same prison that housed the king’s prisoners. Can you imagine what Joseph must have been feeling? Still, God was with him and gave him favor in the sight of the prison warden and he was given oversight over all the other prisoners…and that’s when things got interesting.

Two of the kings’ prisoners were also thrown into the same jail; the king’s chief baker and his chief butler. In the course of time, they both had troubling dreams and Joseph interpreted their dreams – the baker would be executed and the butler would return to the palace to serve Pharaoh once again. Desperate for freedom, Joseph begged the butler to remember him when he got out of prison, but the butler forgot Joseph.

Sometimes, we have connections, people in our network who have the ability and capacity to help us in one way or the other, but yet nothing happens. Their lack of remembrance doesn’t mean that God has forgotten us.

It took two whole years…two years! The butler finally remembered Joseph, but only because Pharaoh needed someone to interpret his dream.

You may have spent a long time in a bad situation, but the time of lifting…of deliverance, healing, comfort will come. God will make everything beautiful in His time.

Joseph was hustled out of prison to interpret Pharaoh’s dream and suddenly, his whole life changed.

One minute he was in prison, and the next, he was the ruler of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. Can you imagine what that was like? One minute you’re being washed and shaved because you’re so dirty from spending years in prison (Genesis 41:14), and the next minute you’re wearing Pharaoh’s signet ring and having people bow to you (Genesis 41: 42-43)? It must have felt surreal.

Joseph had been a young boy when he was sold by his brothers and he was 30 years old when he met Pharaoh (Genesis 41:46). It had been a long season of troubles, which kept changing:

-          Sold into slavery by jealous brothers

-          Servant in Potiphar’s house; influential and favored, but still a servant.

-          A prisoner; successful overseer of men, but still a prisoner.

Through all this, Joseph could do nothing to change his circumstance; but, he did the one thing he could – he controlled his reactions and attitude all through this time, giving glory to God for His gifts (Gen 41: 16). And suddenly, suddenly, everything was different.

God is still in the business of ‘suddenly’ moments…change so sudden that it would feel like a dream. So, while we wait for His perfect time, for Him to do what only He can do, let’s do what we can do:

-          Keep our focus on Him

-          Maintain a good attitude

-          Thank Him for what we do have

We may not all be destined to become kings and rulers of nations, like Joseph was. But, there is a treasure inside each of us, placed there by the very hand of God. That little nugget may be hidden as of now, known only to you and God, but God is busy behind the scenes - polishing, refining, setting up people, places and circumstances for our benefit, just like He did for Joseph. And one day, God in His time will make all things beautiful…suddenly.

Onyih Odunze

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