“You have such a good attitude”. He looked at me sympathetically. Ordinarily, I would smile generously and feel warm, fuzzy thoughts that someone would take notice. But now, after a couple of months of struggling with the oncoming day when I would have to leave my job and move to another position, I didn’t take it so kindly.
I grimaced a smile, muttered thanks, and turned away. “What good did it do me? This positive attitude?” It didn’t seem to do good at all. Yep I was indulging in a pity party. Please leave me alone while I retreat and lick my wounds in misery. You probably never been there right?? Yea, I thought so.
I was in complete shock when told I’d be transferred out of my present job. I didn’t see it coming. To be honest, it kind of broke my heart. It was a dream job for me. I loved my job, loved my boss and my co workers. Now, my job would be to clean the office I previously worked in. No, I am not kidding! It was a hard pill to swallow.
I spent the first month or so wallowing around in disbelief, hurt and anger. Then there came a point when I began to look outward instead of focusing on myself. I sought my Lord’s face, and enlisted my friends to pray. It wasn’t long before He lead me to Joseph. The Joseph in the book of Genesis.
Joseph, Jacob’s favored son. The one who had a special, beautiful coat made for him. Who was doted on, at the expense of his other brothers. Who had vivid dreams given to him by God Almighty of a bright future ahead of him.
This same Joseph now found himself sold as a slave material and is led along bound in a caravan heading for Egypt. Add to this misery the stabbing pain of betrayal committed by your own blood brothers, and you have all the material for a angry, bitter, hardened heart.
Joseph’s life had shifted hugely. As he was led off in the distance, you had to feel that this was the end of the story. His life was over, the unknown stretched out ahead. And those dreams God gave him? Well, we all know that can’t happen now... And where was God while all these ugly things happened to him?
You and I know how it ended. But when you find yourself helpless in the face of a dramatic change, it can be quite hard to see any silver linings. It’s oh so easy to feed upon those ominous thoughts that the enemy of our soul so eagerly puts before us. The more we feast upon the tasty but sickly stuff, the worst we feel.
On the long journey to Egypt Joseph had to struggle with all this. And probably continued to do so afterwords when he worked for Potipher. But how long does those raw emotions remain just below the surface? You’re okay now, and then something is a trigger point and you feel it all again.
How long before the raw wound is healed and we don’t feel the stabbing pain anymore?
I guess what I’m saying is that ultimately it is a choice. Do we want to remain in our misery. Do we want to continue to wallow in the ugliness? Or do we choose to put that aside and turn to our God. Do we trust Him to give us what we have need of? Will He be enough?
I have to choose daily sometimes to turn away from the ugly thoughts and turn to my God. I have to choose not to vent and whine. Because really, does it make it feel any better?
I don’t want to walk around with a chip on my shoulder. It isn’t all about me and my issues. Other people are affected by my attitude.
Joseph had to struggle with all of this. Somehow he settled it within himself. The Bible tells us clearly that God’s hand was upon Joseph and He granted him favor wherever he was.
I want to encourage those of you that are in an ugly situation. God’s got this, and He has you. You will come through this stronger. You will once again testify to His faithfulness. His hand is still on your life. All is not gloom and doom. I can’t see beyond my nose, but my God sees it all. He’s got this!