Sunday, August 16, 2009

Being a Jospeh..more thoughts

Since I blogged about Joseph the other day, he has been on my mind a lot, and I got to thinking about how bad off he had it, and we complain so easily, and get upset with God if everything isn't just prefect in our lives. I think one of the reasons God put the stories of Joseph and others in the Bible, is for role models. And to show us if they made it, we can. In my other post about him, I concentrated on how he handled temptation. I have a few more things about him, which even if it helps no one else, helps me.

1) He was obedient. He knew his brothers hated him, yet when his father asked him to go to his brothers to check up on them, he willingly went. And we know how that ended.

2) He had self control. As I stared before, I am sure it wasn't easy to turn away a beautiful woman, but he did. And as a result, God used him to save a lot of people.

3) He was trustworthy. After being thrown into prison because of Poitphar's wife's false accusations, he was put in charge of all of the other prisoners.

4) He was patient. It seems that he was in prison at least for two years, for after he interpreted the chief butler's dream, and he was restored to his position, two years passed before he remembered his promise to help Joseph.

5) He was wise. After he interpreted Pharoah's dream, he told what to do to save the country from famine. Obviously, God told him, but I'd still say he was wise.

6) He was forgiving. Can you imagine it. He was the second most powerful man in Egypt - in that region. His brothers, the very men who sold him into slavery were in his presence. He had the power to throw them in prison, even kill them. But he forgave.

We all have our fights and hardships, and sometimes it seems we have more than our share. Yet, none of us have gone through what Joseph did. Sold into slavery by his own family members, falsely accused of attempted rape, falsely imprisoned. How would we hold up under that? We can't handle it if people aren't friendly enough at church, or if the preacher leaves we like so much - how on earth could we stand up to real problems?

I can name the date and place where I had to truly learn to forgive. Something not many people in my life know about. May 8, 2003. I don't think I ever hurt so much. I wanted to die. I couldn't sleep right for months. The people involved never have asked forgiveness to this day. Did I forgive them? It was hard, but I think I truly did. Sure, I spent a lot of time imagining ways to get even, wishing all sorts of bad things, yet I did forgive. One of them is even on my facebook friends - I have 183, so don't try to figure out who it is. :-)

Jesus should be our ultimate role model, who we strive to be more like above all others, yet I think it does us good to look at some of these Bible characters, realize what they went through - before Calvary ever happened - and they kept true and made it. Be a Joseph? Worth striving for.