Joseph was beaten, sold into slavery and discarded by his own brothers. His story of redemption has always been one of my favorites in the Old Testament.
After Joseph is brutally discarded and ends up in Potiphar's house, he is doing whatever he can to find his new normal. I can't imagine what this would be like. Everything around him is foreign. He didn't ask to be a slave. He had to learn how to stop dwelling in his own self-pity, and make a place of excellence around him. He did just that.
He excelled and Potiphar saw this. If Potiphar's wife hadn't been attracted to Joseph, I wonder what the outcome might have been. Most likely, Joseph would have risen up to be second-in-command in Potiphar's household, and he would have stayed there. It's still an amazing story if you think about it. A slave excels and is an example to all around him. But we know that's not how his life ends. God had other plans for Joseph.
Joseph is falsely accused of raping Potiphar's wife, and thrown in prison. Her lies were not necessarily God's plan, but God was able to use what the enemy meant for evil to propel Joseph toward the footsteps of his destiny. By all earthly standards, Joseph appeared to have gone further from the destiny his dreams foretold as a young boy under his father's care. It was God's plan to exalt Joseph, but it would appear Potiphar's wife got in the way. Joseph refused her. He had a choice.
I can't imagine how forgotten and hurt he felt during his early months and years in prison. How could he ever get used to this new normal? How did he stop himself from growing bitter and unforgiving at the lot it seemed his life had dealt him?
Again, he worked his way into a place of favor with the prison guards. The bitter pain of rejection didn't last with him. He learned to find his new normal. God did a work in him.
While he was still physically in prison, he learned to rise above his circumstance. But then! I always love the "but then" in this story. The drama of the pit to the palace journey is so amazing. To think Joseph woke up that morning on a dirty wet rock as a bed, and that night he was clean-shaven and in a real bed. In the short span of a day, his whole world had changed.
When it had seemed his best may be the second-in-command of a prestigious Egyptian household, or a prison, God had better plans and he became the second-in-command of all of Egypt. He later saved his father's household and the nation from starvation.
What about your "but then"?
Life can throw you unexpected curveballs. There are times you expect something to turn out one way, only to watch it crumble in your hands and leave you in tears trying to pick up the pieces. There are times that you know God is doing something in your life, but you can't seem to see through the clouds.
I want to submit something to you today: God isn't done with your story yet. He sees your end from your beginning, and there is a bigger picture. Maybe you chose to do the right thing, and it seemed to take you a step backward.
Did your choice to follow God's leading force you into obscurity? Maybe you thought being second-in-command in Potiphar's house was a good option for you, but God wants to take you further. May Joseph's life serve as an example to all of us facing the feelings of frustration as we walk out our destiny.
Stay firmly on the path God has before you. He has seen your end from your beginning and, though it may get weary being in a place where you didn't plan, God's plan is bigger.
While you may try to question "What if?" remember that you would rather walk out your whole destiny than settle for just a small fragment. God's plan was bigger than what Joseph saw, as is His plan for you.
His plans are bigger than what you can see. God is faithful to you.
Anna M. Aquino is a published author, guest minister and prophetic voice. Her books, Cursing the Church or Helping It? Exposing the Spirit of Balaam, Confessions of a Ninja Mom, An Ember in Time and A Marriage in Time are available wherever books are sold. She has been on TBN, TCT and a variety of other programs, both TV and radio. Please feel free to check out her website at annamaquino.com.
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