Over the past year, many people have suffered isolation thanks to the “stay home, stay safe” initiatives around the county (and world). When no one calls or stops by, it’s easy to feel forgotten.
But are you forgotten by God? Not likely. How could the omniscient Creator of every cell in your body forget about you?
Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.Genesis 40:21
Notice it wasn’t God who forgot about Joseph in the prison. No, it was a fellow prisoner who Joseph had encouraged.
People forget us. When they do, we pass our disappointment off as if God is failing us, too. But that isn’t true. The truth is: feelings can deceive us.
I’m enjoying all the time spent reading and studying Genesis. Joseph, in particular, inspires my imagination. Let’s consider what led to this moment of feeling forgotten –a moment that lasted two years. TWO YEARS!
After all, don’t you think Joseph considered these “memories” while sitting alone and forgotten in his prison cell?
Joseph had a special relationship with his father Jacob. In fact, his father made it clear that Joseph would be the primary heir even though he had ten older brothers. When God sent Joseph dreams that illustrated his family worshiping him, the teenage boy shared those visions with his brothers.
They couldn’t stand the sight of him after that.
In fact, they were so angry and jealous they planned to kill him. Yes, really. Fortunately, God had a different plan (and Joseph realized that and explained it to his brothers in Genesis 50). God’s plan allowed Joseph to be stripped and tossed in a pit. Later, he was sold into slavery.
While his brothers thought they’d fixed the problem of Joseph’s dreams, God’s plan was just getting started. God wasn’t surprised the path included a decade as a slave for a man whose wife decided Joseph should serve her carnal desires.
Poor Joseph. He can’t catch a break! No matter where he goes, God blesses him, sure, but he also ends up on the wrong side of other people.
In this case, false accusations landed him in prison. While he was there, he met two trusted employees of Pharoah. God gave Joseph a gift to interpret dreams, and he used the gift in the middle of some horrific circumstances.
Did Joseph feel forgotten while he languished in prison for two years? He was an innocent man suffering because he did the right thing. Did he get discouraged? Did he recount all the wrongs done to him?
Maybe. The Bible doesn’t tell us how Joseph felt. It does tell us that he served all his masters with a diligence that brought him into favor with them. That doesn’t sound like a man who’s sitting in his cell hosting a pity party.
Or maybe he had some down days, but when he did, he reminded himself of God’s promises. He trusted that God would be faithful to the dreams he’d given Joseph years ago. God hadn’t forgotten about Joseph. He was right where he needed to be so God could give him a huge reveal in Pharoah’s court.
I promise you, no matter how forgotten you feel in the midst of the pandemic isolation, God sees you. He hasn’t forgotten you and will surely keep his promises to you.
Do you know someone who needs this encouragement today? Why not pick up the phone and call them? Or share this post.