Purpose In The Process
“And Joseph took charge over the entire land of Egypt. He was thirty years old when he began serving in the court of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt.”Gen. 41:45-46
God told me something a long time ago. He placed a vision in my heart and soul. I don’t know how else to describe it but to say that it’s in the very core of my being. When He brings it to mind, though it scares me to death, it gives me thousands of butterflies at the same time. It honestly feels, at times, as though my soul is being tugged. That’s how in me this calling is. I can’t run from it because it follows me. And when it catches me, just the thought of it takes my breath away.
But, the thing about this vision is that it hasn’t come to pass yet. It’s still just a dream. It still feels far off and frustratingly out of reach at times. The temptations to get impatient and doubt becomes more and more real as the time passes. Can you can relate? Maybe there is a dream the Lord has given you that has yet to manifest. Maybe He laid something on your heart a long time ago and the wait, at times, has worn you out.
Well, Joseph was given a dream when he was seventeen years old. God told him he would one day rule over his entire family. God gave him a dream and then thrust him back into his current reality. A reality that was far from the destination that the Lord had showed him. He had no idea how, why, when, or where this dream would occur. All he had, was a dream and his God.
It took thirteen years for the dream to manifest. And in those thirteen years life happened. Joseph went from being the most beloved of his father, to being secretly sold into slavery and betrayed by those closest to him. He was alone, in despair and unsure of what was to come in his life. Those years held so much pain, heartache and turmoil for Joseph. This was not the dream. This was not what God had shown him. This was completely the opposite. Yet, every appointment in the life of Joseph was a divine one. Every setback, a God ordained one. You see, in those thirteen years Joseph was able to experience a favor of God he had never experienced before. He was sold into slavery, but found favor in His masters sight and eventually became his personal servant and overseer over his entire house. Though he was falsely accused of rape and thrown into prison, he was given favor in the sight of the chief jailer and put in charge of all the other prisoners. Joseph constantly found himself being put in positions of leadership even in his painful circumstances. God was preparing him for the dream right there in the midst of his despair. Each of these situations were shaping and molding his character into the person he would need to be, in order to do the job he was called to do.
Sometimes, I want to skip the process. The process, just like Josephs’, can be painful, confusing, frustrating and lonely. It’s not an ideal place to be. The dream, however, now that is glorious. At least, that is what we tell ourselves. The dream is what we want to fast forward to. If we can just make it there, then we will be alright. However, a seventeen year old Joseph wasn’t ready to rule all of Egypt. He needed those thirteen years of growth. He needed those thirteen years of having to trust God and God only. He needed those thirteen years of seeing the faithfulness of God follow him even in the midst of his pain. He needed to mature in wisdom and discernment. And most importantly he needed to learn to be faithful in whatever circumstance he found himself in.
This waiting period is priceless. This is where we are being refined, purged, polished and stripped of everything that is not like Him. This is where we are having to exercise our faith muscles like never before. This is where He is intentionally equipping us with all the character traits we will need in the future. It’s in this waiting period that we are being called to draw closer to the God of the dream and not just the dream itself. We can’t rush through this part. There is purpose in where He has us right now, at this very moment. We have to believe that in every phase, God is masterfully accomplishing something in us that needs to be done. This part was crucial for Joseph, and it is crucial for us. You see, God is not just in the dream. He is in the process. We can’t yearn for the destination, at the expense of savoring the God-ordained journey. Joseph was faithful at every stage of his process and God continued to prosper all that he did (Gen. 39:3). What if God is waiting for us to prove our faithfulness at our current level before He elevates us to our next level? What if He is waiting for us to stop grumbling and to begin serving faithfully right where we currently are?
You see, Joseph was born to be the ruler. It was his destiny. But we have to remember that everything leading up to it was his destiny as well. Could it be that we are in a part of our destiny even right now? Sure, it may not be the glorious one that we have our eyes set on. But, I believe that there is something we are destined to do right here in our current part of the process. You see, we were not born to simply wait for our dreams. We were born to grow into them. So then, maybe it’s not so much about the dream, as it is about the growth leading up to it.
Friends, God has not forgotten. The wait, no matter how long it may take, does not mean that the vision will not come to pass. It just means that God is still crafting you into the person strong enough to carry it out. Everything that happens in between the dream and the fruition of the dream is necessary. Embrace the process, for it is what’s making you into the person you were born to be.
Questions to Journal Through:
Spend some time asking the Lord what it would look like for you to remain faithful in your current season?
Maybe you are in a painful part of the process. Make a list of all the ways you can still see the hand of God moving on your behalf even in your pain. This may be hard, but God is always moving. Force yourself to search for the grace in your season. Pray a prayer of thanksgiving over that list.