Worth the wait
What the story of Joseph has to say to an impatient world.
No one wants to wait for anything these days. Whether it’s waiting for summer vacation or an order at a fast food chain, waiting is no fun. Like a 4G internet service, we want everything high speed.
The reality is, waiting is a part of life. There is no getting around it. No matter how many fancy inventions or time saving tricks we bring into our lives, we will always be waiting for something. A green light, a pay check, mail, holidays, graduation or meeting a husband or wife.
But waiting is not always a bad thing. It can build patience and endurance. I am sure we all can remember a time or two we patiently waited for something, and when it finally arrived we understood the truth of the saying, “good things come to those who wait."
5 things to learn from Joseph
One of the best examples of a young person patiently waiting can be found in the Bible. Joseph was hated by his brothers and unfairly sold into slavery by them. However, he kept his faith in God. And after three years of faithfully serving God and waiting, he became the second most powerful man in Egypt next to Pharaoh. His patience eventually put him in a position to help his family during the great famine.
Here’s a few ways I think we could all be more like Joseph and wait patiently on God in the midst of adversity:
1. Be grateful to God for what he has already done for us: "But I will hope continually and will praise you more and more" (Psalm 71:14).
2. Reflect on the trials God has already pulled us through... and give him the praise and all the glory he deserves for those victories. Remembering what God has done will renew our faith and confidence in him, and provide us with courage when facing trials in the future.
3. Get ready for the future: “Everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything ... Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). God wants us to be ready for whatever He may eventually bring into our lives. So spend time in prayer, seeking God for help moving forward in life. Ask Him for patience and wisdom like Joseph did.
4. Remember that God always has our best interests at heart. If we remind ourselves of this when faced with adversity we should be able to faithfully wait and trust him, no matter what he is doing in our lives.
5. Keep persevering while you wait: "Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12).
We have to keep going. There is work to be done. We cannot spend all our time worrying about tomorrow or when a trial will end.
It was in his season of waiting that Joseph developed into the man God wanted him to be. He learned new skills, and discovered talents that helped set him free from his trial. So don’t waste your time waiting for your season of waiting to be over. By faith, keep going and trust that God will bring His plan about when He is ready.