Garry continued his series on Joseph this mornig, looking at Gen 39:19-23. It had taken Joseph years to get to the position of responsibility he had with Potiphar and yet this was destroyed in a moment by Potiphar’s spurned and vengeful wife. Life can be like this, with our world tumbling around us like a pack of cards, even when we have no idea why or have done nothing wrong. As Eccl 3:1-2 reminds us, there is a time for everything, and sometimes things come to an end when we least expect it. When this happens, there is often much grief and mourning (see Ex 34:5-8, Josh:1-2), but Joseph shows us how to live in the morning, not live in the mourning.
It’s hard when relationships and ministries end, especially if the end feels premature to us. Joseph suffered because he had done the right thing, not the wrong thing, but he did not react as many of us do and blame God. He lived by the principle ‘what’s true in the light is true in the dark’ (‘Weep With Me’, Rend Collective) and trusted God even when he could not trace His hand. Phil Wickham reminds us that God has a different perspective to us on life: ‘When all I see are the ashes, You see the beauty/ When all I see is a cross, God, You see the empty tomb.’ (‘Battle Belongs’, Phil Wickham.)
The cross seemed like total failure, humiliation, a crushing defeat, but the cross was not the end of the story. There was resurrection to come: an empty tomb and victory. For Joseph, victory was around the corner, but he could not see that at this point in his life. His reputation was smashed; his life seemed in broken pieces. God was still working for good even while he was in prison, still training him and using him. Joseph stayed true to God and worked with God and His plan, not giving up. The question for us is will we stay faithful? Will we stop at the cross or will we see the stone rolled away?