"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. Young Joey could do no wrong in his father's eyes, so his big brothers squinted theirs. In a jealous plot, Joey's 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. And before long, he was in a foreign land full of foreign faces that spoke a foreign language.
Your boss gives the promotion to the one who sleeps in his cubicle. Someone else gets the credit for the work you did on the school group project. 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 Joey is that although the breaks got rough, they didn't break him. He made good. Learned the language, made friends, stayed focused. It wasn't long until the king alone out-ranked him.
In our week of looking at great life-closers, Joseph's story is unavoidable. From pit to prime minister. Of everything I draw from it, two things jump off the page. First, 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 Egypt. So Joseph resolved to cling to his dreams, literally. (If you're a dreamer, keep it up.) And second, he chose to forgive. One snap of his fingers and his begging brothers would be begging for their lives. Nobody would have blamed him, but Joseph knew that what some people mean for bad, God can make great.
See, Joseph was a closer. Written off in chapter one, his rough start made for one great conclusion.
For Discussion: What do you love about the story of Joseph? 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? Have you ever felt like you're in Egypt? Are you there now?
FAITH & FITNESS AT YOUR CHURCH: You have a house full of believers -- devout in its faith, dutiful in its service. But how is the physical health of your church? Is stewardship of health a topic of discussion? If not, it may be time to add a new message to the mission of the congregation -- one that places a higher value on abundant living, one that charges members to care for the body that carries the soul. PrayFit founder Jimmy Peña is hitting the road in the coming weeks and months to help spread this message of faith and fitness, of health and a heart for service. Click play below for more on this message and write us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can bring Jimmy to your next church or community event.