Joseph in a 'What's Next' Culture?
A Series of Unfortunate Events could be the overarching title of Joseph’s life. At least, that’s what it seems on the surface. Every perceived setback Joseph experienced was ultimately governed by God. And with great purpose. Though he was enslaved to Potiphar because of his malicious brothers and then imprisoned because of a false accusation from Potiphar’s wife, nevertheless, God was guiding Joseph every step of the way to a place where he would rescue the nation of Egypt and his own family that would later become the nation of Israel.
But as Joseph waited for his divine dreams to come to pass, he took every opportunity to make the most of where God had him. Twice we read, “the Lord was with Joseph” (v. 39:2; 39:23). Because of Joseph’s work ethic and integrity, Potiphar put Joseph in charge of his entire household and the keeper of the prison put him in charge of all the prisoners (39:3-6; 39:21-23). Joseph maintained a mindset that said, “God, I trust you have me here for a reason. And I will work for Potiphar and this keeper as if I’m working for you. Until you take me somewhere else, this is where I will invest my life. My time is in your hands. I only care to please you.”
Seventeen years would go by before God would fulfill his prophecy through Joseph. But Joseph’s contentment was not contingent on his circumstances. He didn’t ‘check out’ because things weren’t going his way. His God was with him and that was enough. The story of Joseph presents us with a challenging question: do we place more value on where we are or whose we are? In our job-hopping, thrill-seeking, ‘what’s next’ culture, do we adopt the same kind of attitude Joseph had? Are we able to stop gazing at the skies that draw us into the future and instead make much of God with who and what is around us here and now?