BY: MEGAN GILMORE
Y’all today I am going, to be honest with you. This is hard for me to admit, but confessional time...I am not good at waiting. I work hard to appear ok with waiting, but I got to be real with you...I am terrible at it! When you stop to think about it we do a lot of waiting in our lives.
Waiting for food to cook.
Waiting for the water to be just the right temperature for a shower.
Waiting for your kids to go to sleep so you can have quiet time.
Waiting for your coffee to brew in the mornings.
The list can go on and on about all the time we spend daily waiting. I can wait for the small things in my everyday life- like my coffee brewing in the morning. However, when it comes to big things in life - I am not good at waiting. My difficulties with waiting can lead to impatience and doubt that God is working.
This topic of waiting has been on my heart over the past few weeks. It has been something I have been wrestling with God about. I have even found myself in numerous conversations about waiting for God’s plans to unfold. One thing I have realized is that I am not alone in the difficulties of waiting on God’s timing.
The most recent wrestling with God about His timing and unfolding His plans in my life led me to study more about the life of Joseph. Do you know the story of Joseph? Maybe you do and maybe you are new to the Bible and have not gotten to explore his life. Let’s take a quick journey for an overview of his life. Y’all hang with me because this topic is very close to my heart and there is a lot to unpack here. Take a deep breath and here we go!
Joseph was beloved over his other brothers by his father Jacob. He was loved so much that his father made him a colorful coat. When Joseph was just 17 years old God gave him two dreams. These dreams were visions of the future when his brothers would bow down to him. Joseph shared these dreams with his brothers...which perhaps was not the best idea, but we do not always have the wisdom to keep things to ourselves at 17. The brothers ganged up on him and threw him in a pit. They ended up selling him into slavery. Slavery y’all...sold...by his brothers! He ends up in Potiphar’s house. Scripture says, “The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man” Genesis 39:2. God did not forget Joseph during this time. Also, Joseph did not forget God and the dreams God had given Him.
Continuing on this little journey of Joseph we still find him in Potiphar’s house and he had risen to a position of authority in the house. This is when Potiphar’s wife enters the picture - she wants Joseph. She tries everything she can to get Joseph to lay with her, but he remains faithful to God and does not sleep with the bosses’ wife. One day she got crazy and ripped his clothes off. Joseph runs away and she decides to get him in trouble saying he tried to take advantage of her. Well, you can imagine that Potiphar was not happy with this and threw Joseph into jail. In a pit yet again! Y’all I am feeling for Joseph in this situation and many of us may have not remained faithful to God, but Joseph did not turn from God during this season in jail.
What is amazing is that God never left Joseph. We see in Genesis 39:21, “But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” God was still in this season with Joseph...He was still working on the ultimate plan for Joseph’s life. Now we see Joseph in charge while he was imprisoned. The next big part of his story was when God gave him the ability to interpret dreams for the cupbearer and the baker. The cupbearer was restored, which is what God said through Joseph’s interpretation of the dream. You would think that he would remember this and want to help a brother out...but no. Genesis 40:23 tells us, “Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.”
I do not know about you but I hate the feeling of being forgotten. What is so beautiful about God is He does not forget us. He did not forget Joseph either! He was still working out His plans for Joseph’s life. Here comes the turning point for Joseph in Genesis 41:1, “After two whole years” wait...two whole years? Y’all that is a long time! I am sure that Joseph felt that he had been forgotten. I am sure he wrestled a little with God about the timing of these plans and the dreams God had given him. But Joseph waited a long time for his dreams to come to fruition. When God first gave him the dreams he was 17 when Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dreams, which led to his rise in power in Egypt, he was 30. That is 13 years of waiting!
To wrap up Joseph’s story real quick - ultimately famine forced his brothers to come to Egypt to find food. Little did they know that Joseph was in charge. We see the dreams come to play in chapter 42 of Genesis Joseph’s brothers bowing before him. God’s dreams and plans fulfilled. Genesis 42:9 says, “And Joseph remembered the dreams he had dreamed of them.” God did exactly as He had revealed to Joseph when he was just 17!
I honestly could keep talking about Joseph and all I learned in my digging in to understand how to wait on God. The journey to get to what God had planned for Joseph was not easy. It did not look on the outside looking in like Joseph would ever make it to those dreams. But God...y’all but God! He is so good! “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28.
So...here we are friends, we have journeyed quickly through the life of Joseph. We see that God was in every moment of his life. God led him to the place he wanted him to be...in His timing. Waiting is hard. When I stopped to think about the hard things we can wait for the list will get long...but here are a few of the bigger more challenging circumstances to wait on.
Waiting to find a husband or wife.
Waiting to have a baby. Waiting for a better job.
Waiting for a house.
Waiting for a cure to a disease.
Waiting to get through cancer treatment.
Waiting for a pandemic to end.
Y’all these are hard things to wait for. They are circumstances that occupy our thoughts and hearts. The waiting is hard and I cannot take that away. But what I can tell you is that God is working. Just like He worked in Joseph’s time of waiting, He is working in yours.
There is a song I love to listen to when I am overwhelmed by waiting, it is called “Take Courage” by Kristene DiMarco. The chorus is what resonates with me,
Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He's in the waiting
He's in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He's never failing
He's never failing
God is never failing and He is working. I know the waiting is hard but hold onto the promise that He is working. When I am struggling in my wait I will listen to that song and hold fast to scripture. I want to share one final piece of scripture that I use to remind myself that God is good and waiting for Him is part of His plan.
“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:13-14
God is in your waiting. Take courage and hold strong my friend! And if you are struggling to hold on - reach out to someone who can encourage you during this season! We all need to be reminded that God is working! Hold on and do not miss what He has for you in this season of waiting!