So after many many years of following the broken road, Joseph (in Genesis 44-46) is reunited with and reconciled to his brothers. (Is that right? I’m never sure what preposition is supposed to go with “reconciled”.) This is the part of the story where we see how God used what the brothers meant to be evil and turned it to good. We see all the trials have paid off, that it was all worth it, that God’s hand was there in secret the whole time, and now, finally, Joseph is powerful, influential, and able to give a great blessing to his family.
This makes me think that the road to blessing is made of broken glass.
Backtrack for a moment here. Joseph was perfectly ready to step up to the awesome dream that God had given him, one of power and influence. He was ready to have a large family, inherit his father’s fortune and rule over his brothers with a benevolent (we assume) hand. Well that vision was shattered when he was sold into slavery.
Joseph was ready to make the best of his circumstances of slavery and was working his tail off for Potiphar. And it worked! Potiphar noticed how hard Joseph was working and set him up as head of household. Potiphar’s wife ALSO noticed however, and when Joseph refused her, she had him sent to prison.
Now in prison, Joseph found favor with the guards and was given the role of watching over a block of prisoners. I guess this is kind of like the prisoner union rep or something, I don’t really understand that one. While in prison, Joseph interprets the dreams of two men who work for Pharaoh and one of them actually manages to get back into Pharaohs good graces.
YEARS later, the cup bearer remembers that Joseph did him this little favor and tells Pharaoh who needs a dream interpreted and FINALLY Joseph climbs out of the mess.
Vision of living in Canaan with Dad and family? Shattered.
Vision of living in Egypt with Potiphar as an influential member of his household? Shattered.
Vision of starting a prison ministry? Shattered.
This tells me that the road to really living in the place God has set for us and then blessing others from that place is a road that is covered in the bits and pieces of half hoped for dreams.
Or is it?
Let me ask you a question and see if you can answer it without looking at your bible. How many times did Joseph pray? How many times do we see “God spoke to Joseph”?
Now you can look through your bibles, but when I did it, I couldn’t find one. Not one. It makes me wonder how the story would have been different if Joseph had spent a bit more time on his knees praying and less time dreaming up what he thought God wanted for him.
The Road to blessing is either marked by God correcting our path, or by holes worn into the knees of our jeans.