Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday Tales: by Sandra Schoger Foster

When I slipped under the covers last night and got comfy on my side of the bed, making just the right "nest" with blankets and pillows, I could tell I wasn't going to fall asleep very easily. Just a wide awake feeling. After about an hour and a half, I got up and motored around the house to get the kinks out. Went back to bed for another hour, then got up again. This time, I went to the kitchen and spied some left over spice with white icing (all from scratch my daughter had made) birthday cake from the day before. Then I made green tea and decided to turn on the TV while I downed this health snack. By this time, it was 1:30 am and the Sandman hadn't come around at all.

There didn't seem to be anything much on TV at that hour, which didn't surprise me, so I flipped to the Christian TV networks. Jentezen Franklin had just started to speak on Inspiration Campmeeting channel. I always like to hear him. He is genuine and easy to listen to, so I settled back with leftover birthday cake and hot green tea, and hoped he could put me to sleep. But all he did was wake me up.

He hit a nerve straightaway. Joseph is one of my favorite Bible characters, and Jentezen was talking about him, so I figured I should keep it there. He said some very interesting things which were pertinent in my life. I tried to take notes, but he talks fast and in the middle of the night, I don't write so fast, especially with a fork in my hand. Following is what I got from it (paraphrased):

Joseph's father had placed a fine coat of many colors on Joseph, probably made by his mother. They were proud of him and saw his leadership abilities. But his brothers didn't see it like that. When Joseph told his brothers his dream, they showed their dismay. One day when they were out and about, his brothers took him, stripped him of his coat of many colors, and put him down in a pit. Jentezen brought out ... if his brothers thought Joseph was just blowing smoke, they wouldn't have paid any attention to him or his dreams and gone on about their business. But they either felt in their heart of hearts, or thought maybe ... just maybe ... this all might come true. Bowing down to him? Never! When they took the coat off him, they didn't take the anointing off. They thought they would thwart those efforts of his when he was sold to the Ishmaelites who were not Jewish. Sometimes God uses nonbelievers and strange people to move us toward our dream.

So, we know that they took Joseph to Egypt. What must he have been thinking during this trip? The scriptures don't tell us that he ever complained or questioned God as to why this was happening to him. While he was in Egypt, we know the story of Potiphar and his wife and now bad goes to worse, and Joseph is in jail for something he didn't do. No complaints were heard from Joseph. No whining and claiming innocence.

Here's the point I'm coming to: While Joseph has gone through all this distress at the hands of others, he hears of a dream Pharaoh needs interpreted. He doesn't think, hey I'm here unjustly so you're on your own, buster; figure out your own dream. But after he prays, he offers to interpret Pharaoh's dream, knowing that if he didn't get it right, he'd be killed. No one else could figure it out. Joseph not only told him the interpretation, he told him the dream, and he hadn't even heard it before. Pharaoh is astonished and of course you know how it goes from there.

I'm still coming to the point, and here it is: While Joseph waited for his dream to be realized, he was helping someone else to realize their dream. That is so amazing to hear that unpacked. Jentezen said, "If you're waiting for a dream to be realized you need three people in your life; A butler, to open doors;A baker, to pull things together; and a Pharaoh, to finance your dream," which was to set him free from jail, in this case and put him in a place of power.

Jentezen said, "Tie your dream to the harvest." Believe what God has promised and look at that, not your lack. Don't just say, 'oh Lord, help me. This isn't going right. What did I do wrong?' and all of that.

He also talked about Amos, and how he came upon a lion tearing apart a lamb. When he scared off the lion, all that was left of the lamb was an ear and a leg. That represented "no hope," but Amos picked up the leg and ear and took it back to the people. Jentezen said, "if you have an ear to hear and a leg to stand on, there's hope!! It's not too late."

I was so encouraged. We look at what God told us to do, and we see we're not getting very far, very fast, and we have set-backs, but we know the Lord of the Harvest, and we keep our eyes on Him and not on our circumstances.

Jentezen said, "Just because things go awry, right away we think we didn't hear God, or we were mistaken on what He wanted us to do; and we think we've lost the anointing. But that just isn't true. It's God's message He wants you to carry that's anointed and that doesn't change. There are daunting things that come across our path, but we don't ever give up. Joseph ended up in the most sought-after position in Egypt and had control over his brothers destiny, and they DID end up bowing down to him, be it ever so many years from when Joseph first had the dream. Stay in a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ and HE WILL see you through. He is on your side. The battle is not yours, but God's.

Turned off the TV about 3:15 am, absolutely joyous in heart and spirit from all I had heard, and hoped the Sandman would be waiting for me. Slipped back into bed and rejoiced in Christ my Saviour; amazed in His Presence at how He can take the worst of circumstances and turn them around for good, and for His honor and glory, and for His purposes, even though it takes years and years. No wonder He told us not to grow weary in well-doing. We get to see the results that only He can bring forth. Praise the Name of the Lord!

Author of Daddy, Will You Play Catch with Me?

Sandee being interviewed at KTIE radio.


Pat Stockett Johnston said...

Nice article. However, I'm hoping my inspiration comes during the day.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sharon Lynne said...

This is one of my favorite accounts in the Bible. I enjoyed your post and your thoughts. There is so much to think about in this story.

I always marvel how Joseph's life seemed to be going in reverse direction, from bad to worse. But God was in control, and working events to bring about his over all plan, which was to save his people from demise (from a future famine).