Monday, January 26, 2009

The Patience of Job....or....Joseph

A very wise woman (also known as my wife) tells me to be careful praying for patience because God just might test you on that. Well, she is probably right, but patience is something I desperately need right now and thus it is something I am praying for.

When we think of patience in the Bible we usually think of Job. He is certainly a great model to look at as God tested him greatly and nonetheless Job responded with “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” There are others who have dealt with what seems like the slow-delivering hand of God.

One of those is Joseph. His brothers didn’t care for him much so they sold him off to some traveling traders. After serving faithfully and righteously for one man, he is betrayed and thrown in jail. In jail he meets two guys who used to work for the king. He interprets some dreams for them and only asks that when they are released they speak well of him to the king. One of these two guys is hanged and the other completely forgets about him.

Then we get this notice in Genesis 41:1, “After two whole years…” The writer makes it clear to us that it was not one and a half years or even one year and eleven months, but two whole years. Finally, after two whole years of Joseph sitting in jail wondering if God had forsaken him, the king’s man remembers him. Joseph is released and once again serves faithfully and righteously. He could have turned bitter. He could have said to God, “Oh now you deliver me. After two whole years of sitting in that jail cell. Well forget you God; I am going to live the way I want to live.” But he didn’t do that. He picked up where he left off and continued to serve God faithfully.

I pray that God would give me the grace to have patience like Joseph had. And, when God puts me where he wants me that I will not be bitter, but that I will faithfully serve him.

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