“Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command.” Gen. 41:39,40 (ESV)
One of my favorite stories in the Old Testament is the amazing rise of Joseph from prisoner to second in command in Egypt, all in a single day. What is often forgotten or minimized is the length of time that Joseph spent in captivity.
Genesis 37:2 tells us that Joseph was 17 years old before his brothers sold him to the Ishmaelites on their way to Egypt. Genesis 41:46 then tells us that Joseph was 30 years old when he becomes Pharaoh’s second in command. Joseph spent close to 13 years imprisoned before his amazing rise.
Thirteen years is a long time, especially when it is spent in a captivity that you don’t deserve. Most people would become embittered and angry at the wasted years, especially those precious young years…but not Joseph. While I’m sure that there were times when he wondered if he would spend the rest of his life as a prisoner, Joseph never lost his faith in God.
No doubt God had many reasons for waiting those 13 years. Among those reasons was the work He needed to do in Joseph. Instead of a boy who rashly bragged about dreams, thirteen years later we see a man quick to give credit to God for the ability to interpret the dream. We see a man with maturity and wisdom, able to advise Pharaoh how to respond to the significance of the dream.
Perhaps you are “stuck” in a place in your medical career where you are not feeling fulfilled. Maybe you are still immersed in the long process of medical education and wondering if God is accomplishing anything in your life.
Remember the example of Joseph. God used that time in his life to prepare him for what lay ahead. Rest in the faith and understanding that God is also working in you to prepare you for what He has in store for your life. Don’t allow impatience, bitterness or doubt creep in.
He is in control!
Prayer: Lord during these long periods of “perceived captivity”, help me remember that You are in control and working in my life.