The other night I was doing my daily Bible reading and was enjoying the part of the story when Joseph finally tells his brothers that the man under all the frills and Egyptian make-up was him. "I am Joseph," he announced to his stunned brothers.
The story of Joseph is one of my favorite stories of all times, but I always find that particular part of the story so amazing! It never fails to brings tears to my eyes every time I imagine him coming to that point when he just could not wait any longer. They had passed all his tests to see where their hearts were at this point in their lives, and he must have been satisfied with it because suddenly he just HAD to tell them. It was time to give the big reveal! Too bad there weren't any cameras around at the time because the looks on their faces would have been fun to see.
Yet, after the surprise was over, they had to face the fact that their father needed to know. And telling him that Joseph was alive meant they had to confess to what they had done and tell the truth. Joseph had sent a gift of wagons to carry all of them back to Egypt, as well as donkeys laden down with goods to keep them alive until they returned to him. There was no keeping the secret any longer, but I've often wondered if they confessed right away when they saw their father, or if they just simply told him that Joseph was alive and waiting for them in Egypt? It says they relayed all that Joseph had told them, but did they keep the part about how Joseph got to Egypt out of the conversation?
So, Jacob, after finally coming to the realization that he was going to see his son again, after twenty plus years, he begins his journey, only to stop along the way to make sacrifices to the Lord. It is there that God comes to him in a vision during the night and speaks to him. He reassures Jacob of the promise of making him a great nation, and that Joseph is indeed alive and will be there when Jacob dies.
This part made me pause for a moment....God knows everything, right? God sees the past, present, and the future. He knew Jacob would make this journey to see his son, the one that he thought had died by the hands of cruel beasts of the woods. God could have told Jacob so many years before and let him know that he would see Joseph again! Wouldn't that have been the kind thing to do?
It kind of reminds me of the story of the Wizard of Oz...the "good" witch kept guiding Dorothy along the way, never telling her that she could simply click her heels, which would allow her to return home. She could have saved her lots of grief and worry along the way if she had just told her upfront the solution to all her problems! But no, there were lessons to be learned, and things to do along the journey.
And so it was for Jacob. And especially Joseph. If Jacob had been told the truth that Joseph was alive in the beginning, he would have gone after his son, rescued him, and brought him back home saving them both from horrible grief and misery along the way. If that had happened, what would have become of them in the long run? Would they have died when the famine hit the land because there was no food prepared for the hard times? God knew. He had hand picked Joseph for the job because He knew Joseph's heart. And so God did not tell Jacob because He needed His plan to be fullfilled. He wanted Jacob to wait.
This is where my title of the blog comes in - The Waits of Life. You probably thought I misspelled the word, but there is no mistake. The weights in this world are often God telling us to "wait" for the answer. For His timing. He may not answer for a day, a month, a year, or even twenty years, like Jacob, but He will give an answer when it is right. And in the meantime, the time in between is often used to shape us, mold us, and refine us so we can be exactly who He wants us to be when the time is right for the answer.
I hate waiting. I hate not knowing what is going to happen, or what decision I should make regarding an important matter. I had one of those days yesterday. It was one of those strange days, where lots of things happen that are not normal. One of them was finding a little purple finch under my bird feeder. He was hurt and unable to fly. I took him in my hands and got him warm. He closed his eyes trusting that I was not going to hurt him and rested. I ended up bringing him inside and nestled him in a cozy towel inside a box where my kitties could not get him. I could see he was not doing well so I prayed that if he was going to die, that the Lord would take him quickly and not let him suffer. Within an hour he had passed. The verse about God seeing every sparrow fall went through my mind. I am thankful God answered my prayer quickly for the sake of the bird and I did not have to wait a long time to know what to do with him.
But there are other matters I need to wait for such as salvation for family members and resolutions to financial matters that still lurk under the surface, never seeming to go away. These weights can be heavy on the shoulders. It can seem like they are pushing me underneath the waves and I can't take a breath of fresh air. Yet, God knows. He knows my past, present, and future. He is using this time to make me to be who He wants me to be, shaping me, molding me, and refining me. He wants me to hand these weights over to Him, to let Him carry me through these tough times as I wait for His perfect timing for answers.
"Casting all your cares upon Him for He careth for you." I Peter 5:7
"Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly of heart; for My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:29-30
I want to meditate on these verses today as I learn to give Him the weights in life, and learn to wait on Him. Won't you join me today?