Joseph had two sons born to him before the years of famine came. Asenath, daughter of Potiphera the priest of On, was their mother. Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh (Forget), saying, “God made me forget all my hardships and my parental home.” He named his second son Ephraim (Double Prosperity), saying, “God has prospered me in the land of my sorrow.”
I love the story of Joseph a lot. It speaks to anyone who is a dreamer. But the hard thing about being a dreamer is being faced with that moment when everything goes left. At the age of 17, Joseph saw himself elevated. His dreams said, “You will be a great man someday.” It didn’t happen till he was 30 years old, not obviously anyway.
All along, Joseph was a great man in the purest sense of the word. He was full of strength, integrity… he was wise and strong. He was a great man. But the dream was not just about that. His dream, the dream given to him by God was about a very obvious, people-can-see-this, greatness.
Then he became a slave. Then he was falsely accused of rape. Then he was sent to prison for doing the right thing and pissing off the wrong person.
13 years of “What the fuck is happening?”
13 years of “Am I crazy?”
13 years of “Is life worth living?”
13 years of “Is God good? Is God just? Is there a God?”
Don’t say he never doubted God. I don’t believe that. He was strong but he was human. Even Jesus said, “Why have you forsaken me?”
But it was also 13 years of reminding himself “I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good.”
13 years of holding on to a hope that disgusted him but refused to die.
13 years of a fire shut up in his bones. Would that he could quench it but he could not.
13 years of clearly remembering everything he saw in those heavenly dreams.
Sometimes I tell myself
not to think about you, Lord,
or even mention your name.
But your message burns
in my heart and bones,
and I cannot keep silent.
The crazy thing about the Spirit of God and the things He does is that He is so strong in us.
if we are faithless,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.
I don’t have to believe Him for the world to spin. I don’t have to have faith in His ability to do what He already set out to do. He will do it because it was His plan and His mission all along, not mine. But (S)He invited me along because something about co-creating with Her is what it means to be crafted in Her image.
That dream, at age 17 was like a tattoo on his soul. The dream infected Joseph with hope. And he could not set aside the sound of the fire.
Thank God. Because that is the reason everything worked out well in the end.
And when his time of suffering came to an end and he was lifted up, all of us, the doubters, we all looked and saw… it was real.