Just Your Ordinary Joe

Seize the Day

Carpe Diem

I want my life with God to be fun. In fact, that is one way I would describe the “abundant life.” God, however, may lead us in ways we would not choose and do not like – paths that are not at all “fun.” My most common reaction to those experiences is to complain. I feel like I am in good company. The psalmists complained a lot, and one of those people was King David, who was described as “a man after God’s own heart.”

Often, amid my angst, the Holy Spirit turns my mind to Joseph and the phrase, “what you meant for evil, God meant for good.” Evil and good existing in the same space is not impossible at all, but sometimes to see it happen, we need to seize each day.

Different Than We May Think

God had a plan for Joseph, and he revealed it to him in a dream. Being the second youngest of many brothers, Joe had little hope for notoriety in that time and space, so he made the best of his vision by sharing it with everyone. As you can imagine, this didn’t play well for him. In the end, his brothers sold him into slavery, and he ended up in the household of Potiphar, a prominent Egyptian, as a servant.

I think most of us would be crushed and feel that God had utterly abandoned us, and maybe Joe felt that way for a while, but he decided to make the best of each day he was given in that difficult place. His efforts were noticed, and after some time, Potiphar made him the master of his entire household.

When things are looking up, Potiphar’s wife makes false accusations against Joe, and he ends up in prison. Even here, in the darkest of dark places, he humbles himself to serve others. As before, he is elevated to leadership within the prison and eventually sees an opportunity to get out. He interprets a dream for Pharoah’s cupbearer and asks him to tell Pharoah of his unfair imprisonment. Once released, the cupbearer forgets about Joe, and his time in prison continues.

Live With Excellence

Finally, when God’s timing is right, Pharoah has a dream that no one can interpret. The cupbearer remembers Joe, and they call for him to explain Pharoah’s dream. When all is revealed, Pharoah elevates Joe to his second in command, which allows him to save his entire family from a devastating famine. The line of Abraham continues and eventually brings Jesus into the world, the hope of redemption and restoration for all.

God brought all this about, but Joe contributed by taking hold of each day and living it with excellence. I find it interesting that there is no story of awe-inspiring obedience here. God didn’t ask Joseph to do something great for him. God just needed him to be faithful in every situation he found himself in, as challenging as they were.

What do you have facing you today? How might you glorify God in living it with excellence? Hold each moment captive to God’s purpose. Live today for eternal impact.

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