Murphy’s Law says if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. I have experienced this law more times than I care to recount.
Joseph’s Law is like Murphy’s but with this difference. It says ‘if something goes wrong, God is behind the scenes working it out for the good of his children’, (Romans 8:28). That is what Joseph learned. Even when it seemed like he took one step forward and two steps back. One day he was his father’s favorite son. He was given a dream from heaven. But the next day he was sold by his brothers into slavery.
He ended up in Egypt where he climbed the ladder to the top of Potiphar’s household, only to be falsely accused of rape and thrown into prison because he rejected the advances of Potiphar’s wife.
Yet even in prison God was at work behind the scenes. The captain of the guard put Joseph in charge of Pharaoh’s jailed butler and baker. While in custody, each man had a dream, which Joseph interpreted: the baker’s days were numbered, but the butler was restored to Pharaoh’s household. Joseph said to the butler, “remember me when it is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of prison”.
Sure enough, both dreams came to pass, “but the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him”. And Joseph stayed in prison for two whole years. Now, why did God allow Joseph to stay in prison for two years? I think it’s safe to say He was putting some finishing touches on Joseph. Joseph started out pretty naïve and spoiled, but God was working something deep in his life, like humility and a heart of trust.
After two years Pharaoh had two troubling dreams that no one could interpret so Joseph was called on to tell Pharaoh what they meant. Egypt would face seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. Then something extraordinary happened: Pharaoh elevated Joseph to a position of power to help prepare for the famine.
When you’re stuck in a ditch, it’s hard to think, ‘Wow, God has something great in store!’ But the fact is, you have no idea what God is preparing you for right now in the midst of your trials. God is molding and shaping you more and more into the image of His Son.
Painful, hurtful times are meant to change you. Looking back you should say more than, “Gosh, that was horrible.” If you don’t grow through hard times, it’s a wasted opportunity. God wouldn’t allow that to come into your life unless He wanted to teach you a lesson and change you. So rather than asking God “why is this happening?’ ask Him “What do You want to show me, Lord?’ Look for what the Lord wants to show you in whatever situation you’re in and learn from it.