Don’t be discouraged by the length of today’s reading. Joseph’s story is an encouraging example of how God’s plans are better than our own –even when we don’t understand what is going on.
Joseph had dreams –literally –about what God had promised to do in his life, but I doubt the path to get there looked anything like he’d hoped. And yet, because of Joseph’s love for God, he served and worked humbly, honoring God with his actions. And, in the end, Joseph saw how God kept His promises.
Along the way, Joseph connected with people, used his talents, and grew into the man God knew he would become. When we rush to make our plans and dreams happen in our own time, we often miss the opportunities God gives us to learn, grow, and connect.
When I was growing up, I had big dreams of becoming a magazine editor in New York City. I was never the kind of girl who planned out her wedding, or had dreams about her future family, but I did have dreams and plans for my career. But none of it has happened the way that I dreamed. As I’ve considered what, in the past, has sent me spiraling toward striving or leaning into laziness, one of the biggest triggers occurs when my dreams feel derailed. When I was fired from the job I thought I would have forever, I went into survival (and striving) mode. When the rejections piled up, I escaped into the laziness that is binge watching too many shows.
But when we look at stories like Joseph’s in the Bible, and we have the chance to look back on what God has done in our own lives, we can find hope and peace in seeing what God can do with a detour –and maybe change how we feel about failure along the way. Where has a detour taken you off the path you planned and given you a greater opportunity than you could have dreamed for yourself? What would happen to your work and your willingness to make time for rest if you saw failures as opportunities to learn instead of a stop sign?