I have been ever so blessed by beginning a reading plan on January 15th for reading through the Bible in a year. Do you know that as much as I LOVE to study the Word, and get little and big treasures out of it, and to have wisdom imparted to me for being a more effective servant in everyday life, I have never completed such a plan? I only started my first attempt last year. I was really enjoying it and it got me out of a bit of a rut I was in. Once my wheels got turning though, I was off "chasing butterflies" in the Word. But this year over at Karen's blog, Surviving Motherhood, when she mentioned a plan she had used, it just clicked for me. This time I believe I have the grace to complete the plan. I like this one the most, because it is chronological, and I have always been interested in reading in that order.
Anywho, as I was studying Joseph's life during the read through Genesis, something I have studied more than a few times, I came across a phrase that just seemed to "pop" for me. I felt immediately like sharing it here.
The Set Up: We all know that Joseph suffered much painful, egregious and harsh injustice from age 17 for a period of about 13 years. We know that the scriptures tell us that he enjoyed success and favor, in all that he did, as a slave, and as a slave accused of rape and tossed into prison - still favor and success, still the presence of the Lord with him always. However, false accusation, slavery, imprisonment - the sting, the loneliness, the injustice were not evaporated. No, those feelings were something Joseph most likely had to daily render unto God, as he took up his cross and followed Him.
The Promise: Joseph had been given a promise and it called to him, it simmered at times, it gave him hope, hope for a future, hope for good, hope for a life of liberty, peace, restoration, and kingdom authority. There came a day about 11 years into his dark period where he gave the interpretation of a dream for each of two fellow prisoners. One of the men would be restored to his rightful place in service to the King. He asked for the man to remember him. The man forgot him instead. Two more years went by.
The Call Came! "14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh." I don't know if I can explain why this excited me so, I am not even sure I know why it excited me so. But, it did, and does. And I really immediately wanted to share it here. The idea that we can wait and wait in seeming obscurity. But, to the eyes of God we are not obscure. It seems like the years are ticking by and our "chance" has been devoured by the enemy, but it hasn't, because God has a perfect time!
One Day: One day our call will come, our child's call will come, our spouse's call will come, and when it does, we want to be clean shaven, dressed appropriately and ready to stand and serve in the manner which God's perfect clock work has been moving us towards, inch by precious inch, day by grinding day. We are made to shine! We are made to come forth like silver - smooth, shiny and serviceable!
Joseph's day came and he was never a prisoner or slave again. He served in the way God had uniquely prepared and placed him to serve., and it saved all of his entire family, all of Egypt and many peoples surrounding Egypt. Exceedingly, abundantly beyond ALL that we could ask, think or imagine! Our Father loves us too much and is entirely too wise by far, to give us the authority and influence our hearts tell us await us, until we can handle the power and influence without being overtaken in the sins of pride, fear, lust, and a myriad of others. And that takes preparation. That takes refining. Strengthening. Chiseling off the superficial layers of what you thought was your faith, until all that remains gives glory to God! And when it does, the fires of hell can't burn it, the waters of the ocean can't drown it, the winds of the storms of life can't snatch it away from you. He IS the author and the finisher of our faith!
Shave & change clothes! When the call comes make sure you are groomed and dressed for it! Make sure you have your stuff ready and waiting! If you need an outfit for that interview, if you need money set aside for that trip, or maybe that passport, or that wedding present for a child, or a degree for a job, or the house painted ready to sell it - get it ready for your call! Pray, be with God, believe and do your everyday part. And tell me when you get your call!