Opening Prayer: “Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.”
Daily Scripture Reading:
- Genesis 40: 23-41:1
- Psalms 27:13-14
- Lamentations 3:25-26
- Micah 7:7
- 1 Corinthians 15:58
“The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream…”
We read “when two full years had passed,” in a breath, but for Joseph 730 days slowly crept by in that short verse. It seemed like he was betrayed again by someone else he had served well. The cupbearer forgot him, another broken dream. But in reality, Joseph wasn’t waiting on the cupbearer to remember him or Pharaoh to lift him up and release him. Joseph was waiting on God’s perfect timing. The delay and the detours did not mean the dream was not real. They just meant the dream was not yet.
When David was a teenager, he was anointed as the next king of Israel by the prophet Samuel. At the time, David, the youngest of 7 brothers (sound familiar?), was merely a shepherd boy- an unlikely choice, especially considering King Saul was still alive and well with an heir of his own. It was nearly 15 years from the time David was anointed to the time he began his rule. For 15 years he had that dream in his heart, he held that promise, though his circumstances did not match up. And what did David do during those 15 years? He faced Goliath, he lived on the run from a jealous Saul, he led a group of “mighty men,” he fought countless battles, and forged faithful friendship and community. David continually pressed into God, crying out to him in his waiting, crying out to him in the testing. See, God knew that David was not ready to lead a nation fresh out of the sheep pasture. He molded David through waiting and testing into the man who would steward that dream well. God was creating a king out of the one He had already anointed as king.
It was nearly 14 years from the time Joseph received the dreams of his brothers and parents bowing down to him, to the time he was released from prison and became Pharaoh’s second in command. 14 years. During that time, he lived a life of high integrity, he rose to leadership in every circumstance he found himself in, he served those above and below him, and he steward every opportunity well. The New Living Translation of Psalms 105:19 reads, “Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.” God was creating a leader that would save a nation from an arrogant young dreamer through waiting and testing.
I believe God still does this today. He loves us too much to fulfill a dream we are unprepared for. Zechariah 4:10 tells us “Do not despise these small beginnings.” And do not waste the waiting. Remain faithful and pursue the preparation for the dream that God gave you. Be a good steward of your current situation. Work on your character. Press into community. Cry out to God and deepen your dependence on him. Augustine said, “Without God, we cannot, and without us, He will not.” We may not be able to bypass the testing or quicken God’s timing, but we can be ready when He lifts us up to fulfill His dream for our lives.
Today’s Big Questions: Is there a dream you are still waiting for God to fulfill? Do you honestly believe you were completely prepared to steward that dream well when God placed it in your heart? Do you believe you are prepared now for its fulfillment? Can you identify places you believe God has tested your character in the waiting? How are you doing?
Prayer Response: Pray Zechariah 4:10 over yourself and your dream today. Ask the Lord to help you not despise the small beginnings or waste the waiting. Ask Him to give you the power to strengthen your character and to find you faithful when the time comes.
Optional Action Step: List 3 small steps you can take today toward a dream God has put in your heart, and then plan to do them. Pursue preparation in the waiting and do your part.
Closing Prayer: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”