Tag: God (page 1 of 2)

lines

The handwriting on the wall means the grandchildren found the crayons. ~Author Unknown

Periwinkle, aquamarine, bittersweet, sepia, and cornflower. As a child, I discovered  new and exotic names in my box of 64 crayons. The mixture of colors invited me to create, design, and break from typical color-choice rules. Carnation pink elephants drank from mahogany water beneath burnt orange clouds. 

But one rule I refused to break: coloring outside the lines. To produce the picture I desired, I always colored within the lines. I respected the lines; they were necessary to create my finished product. I enjoyed freedom within the lines as I mixed and matched my 64 choices.

Last week, I encountered a blank canvas in Walmart’s parking lot. Recently paved,     but missing white lines. The black sea of asphalt without lines caused confusion. Some vehicles explored their line-less freedom and parked willy nilly. I circled several times. Where should I park? How close do I park beside someone? Is it even safe to park here? No lines; no order. I missed my lines.

God knew life without lines would be confusing and hard.

So He wrote love-lines in His Holy Word. Lines and boundaries written from God’s great Love to us. Love-lines to help us live the  life He intended: freedom within His lines and boundaries.

Life is hard. I want lines; I want to know where to park. I need lines. Lines guide me; they keep me safe. Life within lines provides me the freedom to color my world in goldenrod, orchid, or raw sienna.

Several days later, I pulled my car between two white lines in Walmart’s parking lot and rejoiced in the freedom I found there.

God’s boundary lines show us where it’s safe to go and set our hearts free. ~ Renee Swope

9 lives

Growing up on a farm, we had an abundance of cats. Most earned their keep by hunting mice. With corn in the corn crib and feed grain for the cattle, our farm offered a buffet to unwanted rodents and, in turn, a never-ending supply of food for the cats.  Our cats enjoyed several buildings to live and dine in: chicken house, hog pen, summer kitchen or wash-house, and barn.

Occasionally, some of the female cats ventured into the surrounding fields for privacy as they delivered a litter of kittens. Unfortunately, some encountered machinery such as a combine, tractor, or hay baler as they faithfully refused to abandon their kittens.  Some lived, though injured, and eventually returned to living a normal cat life.  They were living proof that cats really do enjoy nine lives.

Last week, 9 lives of a very different sort were celebrated. A 21 , a non-profit organization devoted to ending slavery around the world, rescued 9 lives. In Ukraine, two women were rescued and 2 men were rescued from labor exploitation.  In Thailand, two women and 3 children were rescued. Praise God! 

Nine lives freed from bondage. Nine lives starting over and free. Nine lives now hopeful of tomorrow.

Perhaps in time, smiles and laughter will come from those nine mouths. I won’t pretend to understand or comprehend the emotion associated with any of those nine rescues. But I can join in praising God for new beginnings and second chances. Nine lives coming out of the darkness and into the light. Nine lives free to continue to become whom God created them to be.

God is a God of second, third, and fourth chances. And, yes, even more than 9. God doesn’t keep track. Thankfully, He is always a God of another chance.

I don’t know if this applies to cats or not, but I am certain it applies to those 9 precious lives and to my life too.

Starting over and free.

  Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24 (NIV)

Photo credit: A21

shape

It’s pruning time in North Carolina. Northerners by birth and in heart, we are in unfamiliar land. On their daily stroll, our neighbors kindly remark, ‘You need to prune that’ pointing to the crepe myrtle in our front yard. Yes, we know. All around the neighborhood, pruning and shaping is taking place.

So we read and watch YouTube videos to gain semi-confidence. Gloved and armed with pruners (short and long), we approach the victim. Vase shape is the goal without cutting off too much. Will this lovely tree ever bloom again? Only time will tell, but we hope our neighbors notice and applaud our effort.

Many years and dozens of cookies ago, my physical shape resembled a banana but now I identify more with a Bartlett pear. A recent church message encouraged me to consider my spiritual SHAPE as defined in Purpose Driven Life by Pastor Rick Warren.  I can best serve God when I am operating and serving within my SHAPE.

S– Spiritual Gifts     H– Heart     A– Abilities     P– Personality     E– Experiences.

What is my shape? How can I best serve God based on my shape? As my physical shape changes so does my spiritual shape. Thirty years ago, my shape was a stay-at-home mom of two little blessings. Later, called to serve and lead ministries, a different shape took form.  In each season of life, God drew out my gifts, passions, abilities, personality traits, and life experiences. Some previously unused, now emerged. Some faded to the background, some blossomed; all by His Hands and at His timing.

In the Bible, I read about Joshua’s shaping that began under the whip of an Egyptian taskmaster.  God continued to prune and reshape Joshua from the bloody doorposts on the first Passover, through the dry Red Sea, and into the Promised Land as a spy. Joshua stood firm before the nation and gave his surveillance report. He spoke truth with confidence because of his shape.

Wandering in the desert for 40 years, God continued reshaping Joshua. He would be the one, not Moses, to lead the Israelites and conquer the Promised Land.  As he followed and obeyed, the Master Gardener shaped. God equipped Joshua for what he needed, as he needed it. As Joshua was faithful, God was abundantly more faithful. Joshua’s shape changed as God moved him through his life seasons until calling him home at the age of 110.

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

Looking at the bare branches of our vase-shaped crepe myrtle, we have faith the beautiful blossoms will cover the tree this summer. The flowers will serve as proof that the cutting, pruning, and shaping were necessary.

As God continues to shape me so I can best serve Him, I endure His pruning. In time, blossoms of the Spirit’s Fruit will emerge; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. A wonderful shape for this pear tree.

 

 

leftovers

Growing up, we were blessed to enjoy meat and potatoes at most of our suppertime meals. On our farm, we grew potatoes and raised pigs and Black Angus cattle. Butchering time provided meat for the freezer and lard for the cast iron skillet. Everything tasted better fried in lard. (Later, I would learn the effect of lard on my arteries.)

In our family of six, there were few leftovers following our meals.  But when there were, my mother made good use of them. Mashed potatoes were a frequent leftover and the following day we enjoyed yummy potato cakes.  My mother’s hands shaped the chilled mashed potatoes into patties, plopped them onto a plate for flouring, and then dropped them into a hot cast iron skillet bubbling with lard.  I ate a lot of potato cakes growing up and loved every one of them. 

Too often,  my leftovers get pushed to the back of the fridge, lost in the shadows of milk jugs and orange juice cartons . They are eventually discovered well past their safe consumable date and into the trash they go. I need to be more aware of what is lurking in my refrigerator.

For this past month, I have been offering only leftovers to God. Falling into bed exhausted by the hustle and bustle of the season, I see my closed Bible on the nightstand as I mumble a few half-hearted prayers before drifting off to sleep. All I am serving to my Lord and Savior these days are leftovers.

But other areas of my life are receiving extra helpings from a full Krista buffet: shopping, cooking, cleaning, driving, wrapping, and decorating. Let’s not forget, eating! What remains for God? Leftovers. Bing and Burl are getting more daily servings than the birthday boy Himself.

But my loving God waits patiently. Day in and day out. He is waiting because He wants me, all of me. He wants my first, second, third courses plus dessert too! He wants me when I am smiling, when I am shedding tears, when I am loving others, and when I am failing. He wants every bit and every bite. He deserves the filet mignon and prime rib of me; not bits and pieces of forgotten scraps pushed to the back of the fridge.

So I am challenging myself to reconsider my choices and my priorities. Why is my life-menu so full? Why haven’t I allowed any time for the Prince of Peace? I know I can do better. I want to do better. I want to love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength. Mark 12: 30 (NIV) Nothing there implies leftovers.

Today, I open up my Bible and begin reading His love letter to me. I left God several weeks ago in Galatians.  I read and lean into my Abba, Father. In the quietness of the day, I offer Him – me. Pausing, resting, and intentionally making time for Mighty God, I serve Him a helping of my heart, my soul, my mind, and my strength. A main course holy reunion, no leftovers lurking anywhere.

I might even find time to check my fridge too.

Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

waiting

Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work. 

~ Peter Marshall

Waiting is hard. Waiting for the light to change, the line to move, the game to start, and the phone to charge. I wait for the laundry to finish, the microwave to beep, and the repair person to show up.  I wait for my food to come through the magical drive-thru window and for the line to snake through the amusement ride queue. Please stop me if I ever insist on waiting five hours for Disney’s newly open Frozen Ever After ride. A five-minute boat trip through the mythical land of Arendelle is not worth the wait!

Winter-lovers await the first quiet snowflake. Summer-lovers await their first beach day. Moms and dads wait for doctors’ reports while comforting their sick child. Children, women, and men around the globe wait for their freedom from abuse and exploitation. My friend, Tommy, spent 8 days waiting on a boat while fleeing Communism in Vietnam. Some waiting is cruelly defined by life or death.

Waiting isn’t easy; it requires patience and perseverance both qualities I am recently lacking. I am a doer, by God’s design, not a wait-er. I want to go and do, not wait and see. Waiting is starting to freak me out. I am becoming  grumpy and fidgety. Let’s get on with it!  I don’t own a git ‘er done t-shirt but maybe I should as a visual reminder to God of my inner workings.  Nike and me: Just do it!

So here I am, anxiously waiting.  I am waiting for an answer, actually 2 answers. One answer from a lady regarding my writing. I am pretty sure what her response will be, but I am waiting to hear it in her own words. I pray she is kind.

The other response?  I am waiting on God. I am waiting for Him to tell me my purpose in life. My I-am-turning-55-and-at-a-crossroads purpose in life. You would think I would be willing to be extra patient for such an important answer, but no.  I am growing impatient with God. Sadly, my impatience is creeping toward anger. Why doesn’t God answer me? Doesn’t He hear my cries? Doesn’t He care?  I am starting to believe I am no longer a blip on God’s radar screen.

Perhaps my impatience is being fueled by a post mid-life crisis. Approaching birthday, getting older, slowing down, stepping away from ministry responsibilities, too much gray hair, too thick at the waist and other areas, too many new aches and pains. All those red flags which scream, Help me find my usefulness, my purpose in this life! Wherever I drive, speed limit signs remind me of my age and my anxiety gauge ticks up a few notches.

I know I have turned the page of a new life chapter,  but did God forget to turn the page? Is He a few chapters behind?

I need Him to show me my new path, my new game plan. What does He want me to do? How can I serve Him? I am seeking His direction, which is a good thing. But I so desperately want a map. A nice big, clear map, since my eyesight left a long time ago.  I need to know the next play.  Football players receive their next play through their helmets. I will strap on a helmet, if need be. I want to get busy for God; my hands aren’t happy idle. As these waiting days flow into each other with no answer, the grayness thickens. The darkness is getting uncomfortably close. How long will I have to wait?

When will God answer me? Not sure. Sarah spent many years in the harsh grip of childlessness while waiting on God. God’s people waited in Egypt for 400 years before hearing His response to their cries. How long did Simeon wait to see the child Jesus in the Temple? Paul waited in jail for two years before arriving in Rome.

Two requests before God and silence. The deafening kind of silence. I want answers, yesterday. I recognize my time-table is so nearsighted, so finite.  God’s time-table is beyond comprehension, certainly beyond my limited vision.

David reminds me over and over again in Psalms to wait and do so patiently.  Psalm 27:14,  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 37: 7a,  Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.

As I learn to wait, perhaps I will find God is patiently waiting for me. Is He waiting for me to become still? Is He waiting for me to start trusting Him again? Is He blessing me with time to be quiet but I am narrow-mindedly discarding it as wasted time? Is this waiting time a precious gift from my good, good Father?  Time to rest and refresh, not whine and complain. During this waiting period, I need to accept the open invitation to climb onto His lap and be close to my Heavenly Daddy. A gift of time to rest in His embrace.

Time to pull up a chair, grab a soda, and lots of chocolate. Time to wait but also time to read, pray, be still, and just enjoy Him. Maybe being in God’s waiting room isn’t so bad after all. Maybe I can learn to embrace this time and utter thank you, instead of hurry up. 

As I look around, I see I am in very good company. So many pictures of those who have passed through this same waiting room. Some waited longer than others, but all have waited. Joseph waited in a pit and prison. Job waited. Hannah waited. Father of the prodigal son waited. So many have waited and so many are still waiting. I am not alone here.

I will wait expectantly of what God will do. I will wait as He authors the next chapter in my life.

I will wait; for I know He is working.

Biblically, waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be. ~ John Ortberg

 

 

open hands

With the close of the  2016 Olympics, I have my evenings back. More time to do whatever I did before the athletes paraded into my life.  No more late nights in the Olympic Zone and counting medals. This geography geek is putting her map away. FYI: Bhutan is in South Asia and has never won any medals.

I enjoyed learning tidbits about little known countries, like Burundi. Mentioned by ABC News as one of the countries with snazzy outfits, Burundi (FYI: south of Rwanda in Africa) entered the arena with each athlete wearing a traditional African attire featuring animal prints and carrying a wooden staff. They completed their look with neon  Nike shoes, combining traditional with modern. The 9 Burundi athletes returned with one medal, a nod for Best Looks, and tons of country pride.IMG_9781

Choosing to sacrifice my sleep time, I enjoyed women’s beach volleyball.  Looking beyond their ridiculously tiny uniforms, I was amazed by their athleticism on display in the big sandbox.

I noticed many of the female volleyball players stood waiting to receive a serve with open hands, palms up. The American, April ‘the Boss’ Ross would take her stance with open hands, palms up, and wiggle her fingers too. She was ready and waiting for whatever was coming her way.IMG_9780

 

Do I come before God with open hands, palms up, and fingers wiggling? Does my Father see me ready and willing to do His work? Does my stance convey the message, I am here and I am ready to be used by You?

Too often, I fear God sees my hands, tightly closed, like fists.  He sees me clinging to things that don’t really belong to me. I, like the selfish seagulls in the movie, Finding Nemo, declare to God, “Mine. Mine. Mine.” I foolishly and arrogantly believe all I have is mine. I am so wrong.

My family, my belongings, my life, my next breath: all from God. Everyone and everything in my life represent the blessings and perfect gifts from a loving Father.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

Only open hands are ready to receive all the blessings and perfect gifts from a loving Father.  Only open hands can be used by Him to give and receive blessings. Only open hands can embrace a loved one and can reach down to pull up the fallen.  Only open hands can serve another. Only open hands can clap in praise and wipe away tears.

The open hand is blessed, for it gives in abundance as it receives. ~ Biddy Mason.

 Only open hands are ready to return a wicked volleyball serve as the beach volleyball players demonstrated.

What can I do with open hands? When offered in love,  everything!

Then, with a wink in His eye, I will hear my Heavenly Father say, “Mine.”

 

 

 

power of one word

Maneuvering the hallway lined with perfectly polished women, I keep my eyes downcast. Grasping my welcome bag and holding back tears, I rush into my hiding place: the ladies restroom. Why am I here? I must be crazy. Dabbing at my eyes, I catch my reflection in the mirror.  Good grief! Look at me!  My yard-sale find, a brown sweater, stares back at me reinforcing my unworthiness. As the tears begin again, I know only two things :  I do not have enough tissues and I do not belong here.

Attending a women’s conference in Charlotte, North Carolina seemed like a good idea six months ago.  Now, I am questioning my sanity and decision-making ability as I sink deeper into  yard-sale-girl-crying-in-the-bathroom-alone.  Staying here will only keep me locked in this dark and sad place feeding on the enemy’s lies.  Another woman, not wearing a yard-sale sweater, will eventually need to use the restroom.  Leaving my make-shift sanctuary is my only viable option.

Trying to re-establish my composure, I realize I need to do something, anything. A comfortable and familiar activity pops into my mind: eating! Yes, I will find something to eat. After making several wrong turns in the massive conference center, the lunch buffet for attendees comes into view. Choosing a table away from the chattering crowd, I engage my cloaking device for invisibility.  By burying my head in the thick conference notebook, I play invisible. However,  I am thankful my soda glass is not hidden as the kind staff continually fills it to the brim.  But then…

Hello.

One word. Just one word causes me to lift my head.

One word and I reach out to grab God’s life-line.

One word and I am looking into the eyes of a lady who is also searching and alone.

My new friend takes the seat across from me and begins chatting away in a lovely southern drawl. We easily slip and slide into each other’s life. We share. We laugh. We cry. We contemplate dessert choices and decide to get both.

One word. With one word, I am no longer alone.  With one word, I gain a lunch partner, a conference buddy, and a new friend.

My friend was brave to offer me one word; I want to be brave and offer one words freely to others. A simple one word like Hello. But maybe those who cross my daily path  need to hear the one word, Thanks, more generously.  My family needs to hear more often the healing one word, Sorry.

It is amazing how much meaning and power there is behind one word. But the greatest and most disarming one word of all is the name of Jesus. I want to be brave to offer ‘Jesus’  to someone who needs to hear this saving one word. I need to offer it to those outside of my church, small group, and safe places.  Maybe someone you know needs to hear the most important one word,  Jesus.

By myself I have sworn,
my mouth has uttered in all integrity
a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow;
by me every tongue will swear. Isaiah 45:23 NIV

Only one word will cause others to lift their heads.

Only one word will offer a  life-line to someone who desperately needs it.

Let’s Walk Worthy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

invisible

Soap is an American sitcom that originally ran on ABC from 1977-1981. The show was created as a night-time parody of daytime soap operas. A delusional character named Burt thought he could make himself invisible by simply snapping his fingers. snap-snap

Some days I want to be invisible too. Oh, to simply snap my fingers and disappear would be an awesome super power to enjoy.  I could just hide from people and the world with all its problems.  When life gets messy, ‘snap-snap’ and I’m gone. image

But what really hurts is when I am treated like I am invisible. I am present, I am breathing in-and-out but no one sees me. I open my mouth and words come out but they fall on deaf ears.  There is a conversation going on all around me but I am unnoticed. That is a very lonely place to be. I decide that everyone else must be more interesting, more engaging.  So I melt into the background. No one will notice my tears anyways.

Hagar wanted to disappear too. She was serving as a slave in a foreign land. Hagar was given to Abram (Abraham) to bear children since her master, Sarai (Sarah), was barren. Hagar becomes pregnant and suffers mistreatment from Sarai. Yep, Hagar wanted to be invisible. snap-snap

Instead, she runs away. Hagar flees to the desert to escape. She may have thought she was invisible amongst the sand dunes but she was never out of God’s sight. An angel of God appeared and spoke a blessing on her and her unborn child. Hagar’s response? “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13

In what seemed like a very hopeless situation, Hagar grasped an amazing truth about God. He always sees us; the real us, right where we are. He sees us in our deserts, in our valleys and on the mountaintops of life. He sees and He knows and He loves us deep down to the depth of our souls.

Hagar would have another opportunity to test God’s vision and hearing. In Genesis 21, following the birth of Abraham and Sarah’s son, Isaac, Hagar finds herself in another hopeless situation. She and her son, Ishmael, were given some food and water and they were sent off to wander in another desert.

When the food, water, and hope ran out, Hagar places Ishmael under a bush and moved away. She didn’t want to watch him die since that was the only viable option for both of them. Desperation time.

But God heard Hagar’s and Ishmael’s cries and saw their tears. This time He calls to her directly from Heaven. They were not invisible. They were not useless, discarded, or invaluable to the Creator. God saw and heard and He had a plan. “Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Genesis 21:18 (NIV)

On my hopeless and dark days, I want to run into the desert and hide (or snap my fingers and become invisible). I question if the God of the Universe sees little ol’ me. Does He hear my cries? Does He see my tears?  God saw Hagar in all her hopelessness imageand I know He sees me; even when no one else does.

“God keeps an eye on His friends, His ears pick up every moan and groan.” Psalm 34:15 (MSG)

I am not invisible.

Let’s Walk Worthy!

Verbs

A verb is one of the main parts of a sentence in English. You can’t have a sentence  without a verb. That’s how important these “action” parts of speech are. The verb signals an action, an occurrence, or a sate of being. Whether mental, physical,  or mechanical, verbs always express activity.

God, Creator of everything including grammar, knew the importance of verbs. In Deuteronomy 7, God uses verbs to clearly express the actions He is instructing the Israelites to take. When He brings them into the Promised Land and drives out the enemy nations,  these are the actions (verbs) they are to perform. No exceptions. No questions.

Break down their altars

Smash their sacred stones

Cut down their Asherah poles

Burn their idols in the fire

Purge the evil

Destroy completely

In Deuteronomy 10, God shares what He wants the Israelites and us to remember using more verbs: Fear Him, Walk in obedience, Serve and Love Him with all of our being, and Observe His Commands.

The Israelites are reminded of His 10 Commandments in Deuteronomy 5. What should they (and we) do with His Commands?  More verbs: Fix these words in your hearts and minds, Tie them unto your hands, Bind them to your foreheads, Teach them to your children, Talk about them all the time, and Write them everywhere.

God is very clear with His verbs. He wants us to have an active faith. IMG_7163

Too often people are turned off by the Bible, God’s love letter to us, because they believe it is filled with too many verbs. Too many uncomfortable do’s and mega-tons of restricting don’ts. Rules ruffle our-free-to-live-how-we-want-to feathers. We spend our lives under someone’s thumb of authority: parents, spouses, bosses, and government. We don’t want any more rules and commands coming from another source in our lives especially not an invisible God. Ugh! So we rebel whenever and however we can.  We bend, if not break, most or all of His verbs. We can and we do. I can and I have. The Israelites did. In Deuteronomy 31, the Israelites’ rebellion is predicted. God shares openly with His good friend, Moses, whom He will bury Himself (what a perfect love story ending).

“You are going to rest with your ancestors, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake Me and break the covenant I made with them.” Deuteronomy 31: 16  NIV

They didn’t get it. The Israelites missed out on the life God wanted for them. I don’t want to miss out on the life He wants for me. But that will take obedience and yielding to not my will, but His Will in my life. It will mean following His verbs.

But then I stop to consider WHY? Why so many verbs from God? I quickly realize it isn’t because My God is a tyrant or dictator. No, quite the opposite.  All He has ever done and will ever do is from His favorite verb of all: LOVE.  He loves us so much. Parents who love their children provide boundaries/guidelines for the child’s safety and well-being. Same concept.

During a sleepless night, I started my own list of verbs. What activity God expresses towards me through verbs. My list of God’s verbs follows the ABC’s.

My God   adores, blesses, created, defends, embraces, forgives, gets, hugs, improves, justifies, knows, loves, molds, notices, overwhelms, purchased, quiets, reassures, saved, teaches, understands, values,  welcomes, X-Y-Z   Me.

Verbs express activity. What verbs has God used in your life, to demonstrate His amazing Abba Father love towards you? If any start with X-Y-Z, please let me know 🙂

Let’s Walk Worthy!

 

DREAM

As we pause to remember a man with a great dream today, I am reminded of another dreamer. Joseph’s life-journey revolved around his dreams and his God-given ability to interpret other’s dreams.IMG_6557

Joseph innocently shares his dreams with his brothers and his father. Both of his dreams highlight that one day his family will bow to him and be at his mercy. Through the visuals of sheaves of grain and heavenly bodies, God begins to drop hints of His great plans for this shepherd.

‘Ha Ha Ha’ is their  laughing response and Joseph is mockingly referred to as “the dreamer” in Genesis 37:19.  I can hear them roaring with laughter, “That’s a good one, Joey. Tell us another one.”

Their jealously becomes darker and more evil; “Come now, let’s kill him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” Genesis 37:20.

God-ordained dreams don’t die; even if the dreamer does. Joseph’s brothers don’t know Whom they are dealing with. They don’t kill Joseph but sell him as a slave for 20 shekels of silver. Now Joseph is on his way to Egypt.

If Joseph’s highs and lows in Egypt caused him to scratch his head  and wonder if God had abandoned him and those now-hazy dreams, we don’t read of any. We don’t read about any wavering or questioning. We don’t read about Joseph chucking his faith during those dark days.

He suffers through false accusations and false imprisonment. “But God was with him” as we are reminded in Genesis 39:2 and 39:21.

The next dreams belong to Pharaoh’s officials and Pharaoh himself. Joseph interprets the good news for the cupbearer (you will be restored to your position) and the bad news for the baker (you will die). Don’t shoot the messenger.

When Joseph is brought in from his prison cell to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph shows his amazing, unwavering faith. No bitterness. No “it’s about time, God”.  No “You forgot about me, now I will forget about You”. Nope. Joseph gives credit where credit is due. “I can’t, but God can.”

“I cannot do it, but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” Genesis 41:16 NIV

Joseph’s dreams and their interpretations have caused him much pain and now much praise and admiration. Egypt and the surrounding lands will survive the famine. Joseph is reunited with his family and offers forgiveness. Forgiveness that resonates of “I cannot, but God can.”

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work in us. Ephesians 3:20 NIV

Sweet dreams!

Photo credit: Sarah Bessey

 

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