Looking at the saints of old, I see a mysterious and Holy pattern. God doesn’t stop short of the miraculous. He doesn’t go half way or do anything in a less than complete manner. God takes his people to the very edge, He brings them to the last-minute rescue and the midnight hour desperation and then reveals himself with such power, glory and might that we are left speechless. His plans are for his works to be displayed in such a way, so that there can be no other explanation for what has happened except that God has intervened.
However, these gripping stories are also to build our faith. Our lives are not so unlike the people of old. Sometimes our trials bring us to very edge of disaster and if God does not work, we are done for. If God does not part the Red Sea, we will be destroyed. If he does not dry up the Jordan, we will drown. God calls us to go all the way to see the miraculous. It is necessary to go the distance. Consider this example:
Genesis 37 relates a tale of a very dysfunctional family where sibling rivalry and hatred peaked with a brother being sold into human trafficking by his older brothers. Let’s look closer at the pattern. It was necessary for Joseph to go ALL the way down into the pit that his brothers cast him into. There he learned that God had a plan to preserve his life. Thru the long dark night, with each passing hour, he survived. As dawn broke over the wilderness, he realized that his body was whole and preserved and that he had lived to see the sun’s rays pierce the darkness. It was then necessary for Joseph to be sold into slavery and taken hundreds of miles away from his home and family ALL the way in Egypt. On an auction block, his favored son status was stripped away and he became the property of someone else. He had no say, no input, no nothing. His elevated status in an affluent family was cruelly ripped away as he was inspected and chosen solely for his physical build. His father, his family, his lineage meant nothing. It was then necessary for him to be accused falsely and sent ALL the way to prison. Ultimate humiliation and unfairness became his daily bread. It was in prison, however, that he learned to trust the God of the dark. Totally constricted and unable to dictate the terms of his life, he was helpless before God. How easy to lose faith and hope in such a circumstance. Who would have blamed him if he had. The evidence, however, tells a different story. The evidence speaks of a young man who continued to work with excellence not to please men but God. The way he ordered his cell, his habits, his time was of such a nature that it captured the attention of his guard. He was then placed over other prisoners so that he could teach them the same order and habits. But still his case and cause were overlooked. Year after year he remained in his confinement and was able to contribute nothing to change the outcome.
What did he dream the outcome to be? To be set free at some point and make his way back home? To be free so that he could take revenge on his brothers? While we are not privy to Joseph’s private thoughts and agonies of soul, we are privy to God taking him to the limit and then some. Just when it seemed it could not get any worse, it did. God had set an against all odds scenario so that if God doesn’t act and save, Joseph is toast. I am sure that no matter what Joseph longed and dreamed for, he could not have imagined the outcome that God accomplished. He went from the prison cell to the right hand of pharaoh. Who but God could bring such a conclusion? Revenge to his brothers? Joseph ended up not only saving his immediate family from starvation but the entire known world at the time. It was necessary for God to take Joseph ALL the way so that the work accomplished was so incredible, no one could deny God.
Yes, God often calls his children to go to the brink of disaster. But no matter where God takes us and calls us to go, we are not alone. We have His promise never to leave us or forsake us. If He takes us to the very edge, He is there. We are not alone.
If you find yourself in a prison cell of unfair life’s circumstances, falsely accused and forgotten….Wait and watch. You are primed to see a miracle.
To be continued.