By Bri Lassiter
I love the story of Joseph, it really inspires me, and I go back to it often and I feel like I’m constantly seeing something new in it.
I grew up with a deep churchy background where I heard familiar stories like this one so much in childhood, but they were always told without the heart, just the bones, so as an adult sometimes when I read them again, it can be a process for me to tear back the dead layers of familiarity and boredom with an old story and really allow the heart and the fiery emotions of some of these radical stories to speak to me.
I remember when I connected with this story for the first time as an adult, I had been speaking with the Lord about a now twelve-year health issue that’s made me feel imprisoned, and I was asking Him WHY am I still here in this prison, why have You not brought me out of this yet, and how am I supposed to even function here?
I still ask Him this from time to time, and He still reminds me of Joseph, his captivity, imprisonment, and promises, and how he must have felt, how he must have asked the Lord my same questions, and how he must have been isolated and suffering loss, anger, despair, and working through depression and forgiveness for those who hurt him.
How he must have cried out daily to the Lord to save him for years and must have felt stifled and wondered if his extraordinary gift of interpreting dreams would be wasted in prison, or if the promises the Lord gave him as a child of rulership and authority, would ever come true, and how he must have wondered why the Lord would allow such a big part of his life to be lost to this struggle.
It’s a really nice story now because we know the ending. But it wasn’t nice in the middle of living this story when there seemed to be no end in sight.
It must have been a daily struggle to choose to believe God’s promises and bigger picture even when nothing about his life made sense and it seemed like every ounce of hope was squeezed out of him. I relate so much to that, and I remind myself when I read his story that I get to choose too.
Joseph chose to forgive, he chose to keep a pure heart, he chose to keep showing up with everything he had at work even if it was work in prison. He chose to keep serving the Lord with his gifts. He chose to keep believing God. He chose to believe that “not yet” is not the same as “never”.
He prepared himself by trusting the Lord and just obeying in the day to day drudgery.
So when the time came for him to be set free and put in his promised and weighty position of authority, he was ready.
Just like Joseph interpreted dreams and fulfilled his destiny in prison and captivity, so you too may be in prison now. You may be waiting and experiencing all the sorrows of prison and you may have been here for years, and your heavenly Father hasn’t given you the timeline for when you get out of prison. But you will.
Nothing is wasted with Him. So don’t let where you are cause you to deny your giftings, ministry, and callings that are still for you right now.
What’s going to happen if you give up in your painful prison years? What’s going to happen if you don’t work with what you have until you’re brought to a new level of freedom?
I’m telling you, the time is going to be ripe for those prison doors to open and it’s going to be sweet, but just how sweet the fruit of your long wait will be, depends on you and what you have allowed Him to do inside your heart, and whether or not you believe His promises to you in spite of everything you see with your eyes right now.
How you flourish in isolation and pain will be how you flourish in your God-given position of rulership and authority. And He is with you in both places. None of it will be wasted. And He intends it all for your good.
~Poeima, Poetry in Motion
By Bri Lassiter
I’m married to my dearest friend of 8 years and mom to an energetic 6-year-old. My greatest joys come from traveling with my little family, cooking for appreciative recipients, learning herbalism and natural medicine, and every experience I get to have in prayer ministry. I’m an avid tea and book lover and can’t get enough of either. I love Jesus and the daily adventure that comes from walking in friendship with him as he arranges and rearranges my story.