Equipping Takes Time
“Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.”
- Psalm 105:19
Sometimes life can feel like God must be taking a nap instead of directing our circumstances. We offer up fervent prayer, begging God to move on our behalf, and silence seems to be the response. I dislike those times as much as anyone going through one; however, when we read the whole Bible we read verses that prove God hears every prayer and cares about every detail of our lives. I can only imagine how Joseph must have felt, all those years in a dungeon prison, especially because he was innocent of the charge for which he was imprisoned. The whole story, when you begin reading it in Genesis 37, has you glued to the pages as young Joseph is given dreams of the future with God positioning his life for major leadership, all the way to the fulfillment of those dreams beyond his wildest imagination. In the middle of those two bookends he will face jealousy, betrayal, slander, anger, and abandonment. How could God allow such things?
This verse tells us how. God was working on his character. The original word used when the Bible was written had the meaning of refinement. God was refining Joseph during this difficult time and removing impurities in his character so he would be thoroughly ready when the time came for God to fulfill his dreams. If he wasn’t ready, Joseph would never have sustained the pressures of leadership during the country’s severe famine, nor have the wisdom to save his people through it. This truth causes me to examine my life during times l can’t make sense of my circumstances and instead of feeling abandoned by God, look to see if He is refining my character by removing impurities so that He can use me for whatever is around the corner in my life.
I thank you, God, that you never leave us or forsake us and that you care enough about us to work on our character weaknesses so that we are ready and equipped to meet up with the ultimate plan you have for each of us (Jer. 29:11). Help us hang on during the refinement process, because the outcome is a beautiful thing worth waiting for!