How Waiting Prepares Us
Joseph had been doted on by his father, sold by his brothers into slavery, bought by Potiphar, and eventually promoted to manage Potiphar’s entire household. He was doing a great job. Then he was falsely accused of rape and thrown into prison.
But Genesis 39:21 tells us, "The LORD was with Joseph."
In typical Joseph fashion, he was so diligent and hardworking that he was soon running the place. Enter the butler and the baker. They had been working for Pharaoh, but now they were in prison. Joseph saw them one day and basically said, "Hey guys, why are you so sad? Why the long faces?" That’s an amazing statement for someone in a dungeon to make to other people in a dungeon. But there was a cheerfulness about Joseph. He was always thinking of others.
So the butler and the baker told Joseph about the dreams they had. Joseph told them, "Interpreting dreams is God’s business. . . . Go ahead and tell me your dreams" (Genesis 40:8).
The butler was the first to explain his dream to Joseph. Then Joseph said, "Within three days Pharaoh will lift you up and restore you to your position as his chief cup-bearer. And please remember me and do me a favor when things go well for you. Mention me to Pharaoh, so he might let me out of this place" (verses 13–14). But two years passed before the butler remembered Joseph.
Has it ever seemed as though you were just spinning your wheels and not going anywhere? How easily Joseph could have felt that way. Yet we never read of him complaining, even for a moment.
Joseph’s life serves as a reminder that everything we go through is preparation for something else. God is preparing each of us for something.