Read Joseph’s Story in Genesis 37; 39-40 if you are not familiar.
Paul Miller in A Praying Life writes the snippet below as he reflects on the passage above. He writes this part of his book as a challenge to pray in light of living out our Father’s story. He encourages us to stay in the story, or the bigger plan in which God is orchestrating in our life. And when things don’t go as we want them to, be on guard for what God is doing. Look for the strange gifts. He writes, “God loves to surprise us with babies in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.”
Watching for the Divine Artist.
“…Joseph’s life is characterized by disappointment. His jealous brothers sell him for twenty pieces of silver, strip him of his multicolored coat, and use it as “evidence” that he died. Just when it looks like his life is making a turn for the better, the wife of his owner tears another coat off his back and uses it as “evidence” that he tried to rape her. He ends up in prison, alone and forgotten.
But look at the story God is weaving. Twice Joseph loses his coat as he is being humbled; each time the coat is used as evidence for a betrayal. Twice, as God elevates him, he is given a new coat. You can tell that Joseph realizes God is weaving a story with coats and silver because when his brothers arrive, Joseph gives each of them a coat and silver. He wraps up the story of his life by blessing his brothers with the very items they have stolen from him (read Genesis 41-45). Joseph has not given in to bitterness and cynicism; instead he discovers the gracious heart of his God, grace he extends to those who have harmed him. Forgiveness flowed.
By giving his brothers coats, Joseph has become an artist. He has noticed God’s use of themes in his life and extended it. He takes God’s brush and finished the painting. He has learned his heavenly Father’s rhythms.”
When we come against those trials and desert moments, life can be so hard. It can be draining and lifeless. But hold on. It is in our “downs” that God is working the most. It’s in the silence that God is moving mountains. Keep working to draw close to him. See his hand in all the mini steps you are taking. Feel the hurt, cry out to God, but don’t let it overtake you. Don’t let cynicism seep in. Abide in Him and He will unveil His great masterpiece for your life.