I came home from work the other day, crying so hard my words probably didn’t even make sense. The ugly cry is what I like to call it…because it’s anything but pretty. Our current circumstances have felt overwhelming for a few months now, but the other day, everything came crashing down. I just couldn’t seem to get it together after that.
I tried to compose myself enough to explain to my husband why I was so upset. I tried to tell him in words why the last straw was as overwhelming as it was, but I couldn’t catch my breath enough for him to probably even understand the words I was trying so hard to get out between tears. “I’m really overwhelmed…” were probably the only coherent words I spoke in that whole conversation. “I have no idea how to even fix this…” and the tears just kept coming down.
My husband is an amazing man. He is one of the most encouraging people I have ever known, and he sees me and believes in me, in ways I don’t fully fathom. It blows my mind that someone could possibly love me like he does. He’s the biggest blessing I have ever known. That evening he stood over the kitchen sink washing dishes, and making dinner, while I sat on the living room floor having a meltdown of epic proportions. He did his best to try to pick up the pieces and make sense of what I was trying to say, all while fixing dinner for a family of 5, and cleaning the kitchen. What an amazing man he is, over and over again.
While he attempted to comfort me, he said things like “it’s all going to be ok. God’s going to help us take care of this, we just have to trust Him, and weather the storm. This is just a season, we’re being refined by fire.” To which I replied “I’m tired of the storms and the fire. I’m tired of one trial after the next. I’m so weary. I don’t feel like I have it in me to keep enduring this.”
And then he reminded me of Joseph.
I went from slowly being comforted to being angry and rolling my eyes.
I DON’T WANT TO BE LIKE JOSEPH!
If you’re not familiar with the story of Joseph you can read the full story in the book of Genesis, chapters 37, 39-50. It’s a long story but I’ll break it down for you just a little. (Please know this is my shortened, condensed, putting in my 2 cents along the way, version of the story. The full story is the word of God and there is definitely a difference between my condensed version, and the full story.)
Joseph was his father’s favorite- Ok I can handle being the favorite.
Joseph was so favored his father gave him a beautiful coat (some translations read a garment or tunic)- pretty coat, yes please!
Joseph’s brothers hate him for being the favorite- Wait a minute, I can’t help it that I’m the favorite. It’s not my fault if they love me the most!
Joseph tells his brothers he had a dream they would bow down to him- I can see myself telling my siblings this…I’m the bossy one.
Joseph’s brothers plan to kill him. One brother talks them out of it, so they decide to throw him in a pit instead, and then sell him into slavery.- I can see my siblings having this conversation at some point…this is where I stop liking the story.
The people that purchased Joseph sold him to someone else (Potiphar) but during that time the Lord blessed Joseph and made him very successful. Potiphar was pleased with Joseph and made him his personal servant, eventually putting Joseph in charge of Potiphar’s home and everything he owned.
Then Potiphar’s wife starts making advances at Joseph and when he turns her down, she accuses Joseph of rape and he’s thrown in jail.
It’s one trial after another for Joseph. Things finally start looking up a little bit and then BAM! It’s something else. Joseph is an honorable person, working hard and serving the Lord, yet somehow it seems like it’s season after season of trails. It’s the exact opposite of blessings and good things, the things that SHOULD be happening for someone that’s faithful to God.
As my husband compared me to Joseph on the inside I screamed, “I DON’T WANT TO BE LIKE JOSEPH!!! All I wanted was the Father’s favor, and a pretty coat! I don’t want the difficulties! Get me out of this pit!”
The story doesn’t end with Joseph being in jail. From there he works his way up through prison and ends up becoming an assistant to the king, (One translation calls Joseph the governor.) He’s very powerful, and important. It’s amazing to go from being in prison, to being the king’s right hand man! His brothers DO end up bowing down to him like he dreamt they would, and instead of being bitter towards them, he is gracious and merciful to them, even though earlier on they tried to kill him. What a testimony that is. He went from the bottom of a pit, to being almost as important as a king, because although God allowed many difficulties in his life, Joseph still served the Lord faithfully. In the hardest times for Joseph, God was still good, faithful, and took care of Joseph…even at the very beginning, in the bottom of the pit.
15 But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers were frightened.“Now Joseph will pay us back for all the evil we did to him,” they said. 16-17 So they sent him this message: “Before he died, your father instructed us to tell you to forgive us for the great evil we did to you. We servants of the God of your father beg you to forgive us.” When Joseph read the message, he broke down and cried.18 Then his brothers came and fell down before him and said, “We are your slaves.”19 But Joseph told them, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, to judge and punish you? 20 As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil, for he brought me to this high position I have today so that I could save the lives of many people. 21 No, don’t be afraid. Indeed, I myself will take care of you and your families.” And he spoke very kindly to them, reassuring them.
Genesis 50:15-20 TLB
Here’s the thing about life. We all want the Father’s favor. We all want the lavish, and beautiful things He provides. We want enough money to put food on the table and keep the heat on. We want the happy families, and healthy bodies. We want the jobs that go smoothly, and the friendships that feed our soul. We want the large homes and fairytale marriages. We all want that pretty coat from the Father, but none of us want to be in the bottom of the pit. We don’t want the hardships, the painful things, the hard work, the enemies. We don’t want the sicknesses, the broken relationships, the loneliness, or times when there’s not enough to go around. We want the good, but sometimes question the Father’s love when that pit in our life is really dark and empty, especially when we can’t see the way out.
Are you at the bottom of a pit right now? Are you dealing with “brothers” that hate you? Are you being sold out? Are you being wrongfully accused like Potiphar’s wife did to Joseph? What’s the difficulty you are facing? Does the situation seem impossible, overwhelming, and down right unfair for someone who’s supposed to be the Father’s favorite?
Are you like me? Just wanting to go back to times where you’re covered with a pretty coat and everything is going good?
When you find yourself in situations like Joseph, where it feels like it’s one thing after another, I want to encourage you to stay faithful to the Lord. Keep praying and seeking His face. Keep serving Him and trusting His plan. Keep praising and honestly believing that He is good. Keep putting one foot in front of the other knowing God already has it figured out.
Joseph would have never been as powerful and important as he was, if it weren’t for ending up in the bottom of that pit…even if all he wanted was a pretty coat.
In His Love,