Sometimes things get worse before they get better. I know that might sound ominous but often it's the truth. Often during a trying season it's like walking steadily down into a black hole but you will arise.
Let's look at the story of Joseph from the Bible; I like to call it, The P's of Purpose!
First Joseph gets an awesome PROPHECY through a dream he learns that he will be a leader and his family will bow down to him, wow!
The only one thrilled about it is him; his family is insulted and angry with his big ideas.
One step down in the black hole
His brothers decide to do something about Joseph's insulting dream, they throw him in a PIT.
Two steps down into the black hole.
If that's not bad enough, Joseph moves from a favored rich son to a worthless slave in a day.
Three steps down into the black hole.
POTIPHAR buys him and he begins to have a pretty good life considering he is a slave then Potiphar's wife takes an inapproriate liking to Joseph. He does the right thing and refuses her advances and then is sent to PRISON as a PUNISHMENT for attempted rape.
Four steps down into the black hole.
This is where his true PRACTICUM begins. How do you become a favored slave in a cold, disgusting prison where you have been sent because you've been falsely accused? This is where he learns how to serve in dire circumstances.
Five steps down into the black hole.
As he learns the way of the Egyptians, he remains falsely accused in PRISON for many years. Whewwww.
Six steps down into the black hole.
A butcher and a baker arrive at the prison. He interprets their dreams. They PROMISE to remember him when they are released by telling Pharoah about the injustice done to him. Joseph hopes this will speed his release from prison but they forget about him for a couple more years.
Seven steps down into the black hole.
Times in the the black hole are hard. Like Joseph, sometimes you are deserted by family and friends, you're accused of things you didn't do or you're suffering from the guilt of what you have done. Sometimes you loose your place of familiarity, stature and reputation. It's a lonely place; a place of isolation and sometimes baroness. At this juncture some choose to quit and loose hope in people and a positive future.
Joseph took this time of hardship and pressed in. He took the very thing meant to break him and turned it into purpose. In both Potiphar's home and the prison he became the BEST servant. He pushed past despondency, pity, blame and shame and moved into being the best in the midst of hope breaking circumstances.
Two of the most simplest and powerful words that turned his life around.
Time Met Destiny....
Pharoah has a dream that torments him; none of his scribes can interpret it.
One step up out of the black hole.
The baker remembers the dream that was interpeted by Joseph while he was in prison.
Two steps up out of the black hole.
Pharoah requests to see Joseph and brings him out of prison.
Three steps up out of the black hole.
Joseph, with the help of God, interprets Pharaoh's dream.
Four steps up out of the black hole.
Pharoah needs a man to implement the strategy to save Eqypt from the impending drought.
Five steps up out of the black hole.
Pharoah chooses Joseph to be the man to save Eqypt and makes him PRIME MINISTER of Eqypt.
Six Steps up out of the black hole.
From accused and sentenced attempted rapist
to Prime Minister in one day serving Eqypt; Joseph finds his PURPOSE.
Seven steps up out of the black hole.
Joseph's family, who he meets as they attempt to secure food from Eqypt during the drought, ask forgiveness from Joseph and reunite.
Out of the black hole and into destiny.
By the way, Joseph became Prime Minister while he was still serving a sentence as an attempted rapist. He was never aquitted of the crime nor was it ever identified in the bible that Potiphar's wife recanted her lies.
Our trials and circumstances are our practicum for what God has planned for our lives. God had a plan for Joseph and knew that that rich, spoiled and entitled little Joseph needed to learn how to serve because of the destiny He had planned for him.
He had given Joseph a sneak preview in his dream well over a decade previously but didn't tell him what it would take to get there. Joseph needed to know the ways, language and culture of the Eqyptians since he would become Prime Minister in the future.
But why did he have to stay in prison so long? I believe it's because Pharoah needed to know where to find him at the appointed time. At times we feel stuck in a really awful place and can't seem to get out; often it's there where your answer is; where your redemption will begin.
When reunited Joseph profoundly says to his family, God sent me ahead of you to prepare the way; what was meant for evil turned out for good.
What practicum are you going through now?
It may be the key to your future. What lessons are you learning? Necessity is the mother of invention; what good thing can you create out of your challenging circumstance?
Remember, sometimes it gets worse before it gets better but there is purpose in pain.
YOU WILL ARISE!