I hate waiting. I am one of those annoying people who try to fill every waiting space with activity. I scroll through Facebook while my son is at swimming lessons. I do a quick check for texts when I am at a stoplight. I like to feel like I am moving forward with something. I have been reading through and blogging about the story of Joseph. The more I read, the more I realize that his story is full of waiting. Even in places I hadn’t recognized it before.
When I read Genesis 41, I feel like I am finally reaching the climax of Joseph’s story. Joseph gets out of prison, interprets Pharaoh’s dreams, and is promoted to second in command of Egypt. After time in the pit, time in slavery, and time in prison, it seems that Joseph has finally arrived.
But Joseph’s journey is far from over. At this point, Joseph has no proof that his interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams is correct. Joseph tells Pharaoh that it will take seven years of plenty before the first year of famine hits.
Joseph has seven more years of waiting ahead of him.
How many times during that first seven years does Joseph wonder, what if? What if I misunderstood God’s dream? What if the famine is not coming? What if my response is wrong? What if I collected all this tax for nothing? What will the people do? What will Pharaoh do?
I’m not sure if Joseph’s head was filled with what if’s. I’m pretty sure mine would have been.
God has a habit of telling us maddeningly little details about our future. It’s a smart decision on His part. He knows that humans have a habit of using whatever details we do know to take control and mess things up. So, he tells us a few things, and then asks us to wait.
Wait to find out if your house sells. Wait to find out if you will make new friends. Wait to find out why He is taking your life in new directions. Wait to find out if your dreams match up with His plan.
Do you know what word is a synonym for wait? Remain.
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” – John 15:4
So yes, like Joseph, our lives are often filled with times of waiting. But, Jesus gives us a waiting space. It is in the waiting that we learn to connect ourselves to the One who gives us life. It is in remaining that we are able to grow.