Dreams Can Mean The Pits

"You intended to harm me, but God meant it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." --Genesis 50:20 Left out, left behind, left for dead. I mentioned yesterday that dreams often mean the pits, well, here's one example. Joseph could do no wrong in his father's eyes, so his big brothers squinted theirs. After hearing Joseph's dream, his brothers took him for a long walk off a short pier. The next thing this favorite son knew, he was lying in a pit, listening to the sound of clanging silver in exchange for his life. Before long, he was in a foreign land full of foreign faces that spoke a foreign language.

Like I said yesterday, when I watched Joe Weider struggle down that hallway, the wheels began turning in my mind. Actually, it was more like a crank being wound inside my heart. And each week it would tighten and ache. Well, on a Friday in 2009, a spiraling economy forced downsizing and before I knew it I was in the pit of unemployment. There I was looking up with a box of memories in one hand and a fake, potted plant in the other.

The Monday after my layoff, I started writing this blog. It turns out you can do a lot of work in the pit. I began clumsily trying to convey what my heart had been dying to say. See, over the previous 12 years, every article I wrote about leg training, strength or endurance, I saw as an opportunity for a Biblical lesson. I now had my chance, and I was serious. But the 1,250 devotions since don't prove how serious I took the dream, they merely expose the truth that when God places something on your heart, you fight for it.lookingup

Your boss gives the promotion to the one who sleeps in his cubicle. Keep dreaming. Someone else gets the credit for the work you did on the school group project. Keep dreaming. Or God has placed something on your heart you can no longer ignore. Keep DREAMING. We may not be shipped off to another country, but we sure do know our way around the pits. But a neat thing about young Joseph is that although the breaks got rough, they didn't break him. He knew his dream was divine. So he made good. Learned the language, made friends, stayed focused. It wasn't long until the king alone out-ranked him.

Joseph's story is unavoidable and one I thought was perfect again for "Dream Week." Because of a dream, Joseph went from pit to prime minister. Despite his circumstances, Joseph honed his unique, God-given gift. Everything around him might have been foreign, but the same God he knew at home was the same God in the pit and the same God in Egypt. So he resolved to cling to his dreams, literally, because what some people mean for bad, God can make great. Written off in chapter one, his rough start made for one great conclusion.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: What do you love about the story of Joseph? The fact he stayed his course before and during his time in the pit? Or for what he did when he got to Egypt? What can his faithfulness and forgiveness teach us about our lives, our health, our perspective? Do you feel like you need a tighter grip on your dreams? Is something inspiring cranking away inside your chest? Like Joseph, will you share it and leave the consequences to God? Anything we can all pray about together?