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Tuesday, June 28, 2011


When my wife was expecting our first child we arrived from the doctor’s office with his best “guesstimate” of a due date. From that moment our lives began to change; almost everything seemed to revolve around that time. We were busy in the ministry of our first full time church and involved in the process of appointment for missionary service. Yet, as busy as things were we were continually looking at “the date.” Yes, we knew that our baby would probably not come on that date [she actually came a week early], but there was a specific time on which we could focus. That “ending date” was really a “new beginning” that we still enjoy with both of our children.

However, many, if not most of life’s major difficulties do not come with a doctor’s guesstimate as to when the trial will end. I am by nature not very patient. God was so gracious in our years overseas to lead us by the hand and take those beginning steps in how to wait on Him. Almost everywhere we turned it seemed like we had to wait on something. We entered the country in which we would serve about 6 months after a revolution and the grocery stores were bare of many items. To get the basics of rice, beans, sugar, etc., we had to stand in line and wait for the rationed amount that would be our allotment for the week, all the while knowing that we would have to do the same thing the next week and every week there after. There were many other things, but you get the idea. I felt that most of my life was done waiting, and that I was waiting more than I was “ministering.” Fast forward 30+ years to the present.

I cherish my wife’s insight into Scripture and recently she made a comment that really hit home since we are again going through a difficult time. Kathy had been reading in Genesis about Joseph’s response to his brothers after Jacob had died: “What you meant for harm, God meant for good.” [Gen. 50:19] “When Joseph made that statement,” she shared, “he was already on the other side of the trial.” This began a discussion from which I would like to share. Now Joseph is one of the Old Testament characters that is virtually without flaws compared to most. God blesses him in Potiphar’s house and even in Pharaoh’s prison and through out his long ordeal and years and years in prison, no where is there any indication that he was not faithful to God. Joseph pleads for help in getting out to the cup bearer for whom he interprets a dream [Gen. 40], but is forgotten for another two years. When he makes that statement to his brothers, he is second in command, only after Pharaoh, himself and has wealth, position, power, comfort, etc. What had happened in the meantime?

How did Joseph keep his faith in God for all those years in prison, knowing that he was there unjustly, suffering the same fate as those who had indeed deserved criminal punishment? Remember, he had no Bible, save the stories that which Jacob might have told him growing up. He could have easily said, “Yes, God helped my father, but what kind of God is he, that he can’t even protect me and why would he allow me to get stuck and die in this place!” I think one of the keys is that he believed what he had been shown by God in dreams when he was young. He remembered the dreams that his brothers would one day bow to him. He might not have understood all of what that meant or how God would bring it to pass, but he did have that memory. Joseph had faith. His faith is even mentioned in Hebrews 11:22. Another key to his success was perseverance: he just kept on doing what he was supposed to do, even when it wasn’t easy. He did not give up or give in, he just kept on going, believing and God rewarded him.

So what does all this mean for those that my be worship leaders or leaders in general? You may feel as if you are trapped in a situation and cannot get out. Remember Joseph. Remember God’s call on your life. Get up and get out of bed. Do what God has called you to do and keep on. He may lead you somewhere else, but He may desire to develop your character there. Ask for the grace of God to continue to be faithful. Keep on believing in the One who called you. Give Him glory as He brings you through!

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