Perhaps I am alone in this, but I do a lot of whining to God when things don’t go the way I think they should. In a fallen world, disappointment is inevitable and my response is not always appropriate or helpful. Not only do I whine to God, I can get rather petulant when things don’t improve quickly. In reality, I am very blessed and many would laugh at my response to the trivial difficulties I face.
One of the best things about Scripture is that it challenges me to face my issues and seek God for change.
This morning, I was reading the story of Joseph in Genesis. Joseph found himself in prison for a crime that he did not commit. A couple of his bunk mates had dreams that Joseph correctly interpreted for them. One of the dreamers was the king’s cup bearer who was restored to his office as the dream foretold. Joseph had asked the cup bearer to speak to the king about his situation but like many of us would do, the cup bearer got caught up in his own good fortune and forgot about Joseph.
The cup bearer forgot about him for two years as we are told in Genesis 41:1. “Two whole years” is how the ESV puts it.
Do you think that Joseph struggled with self pity during that time? Do you think that he questioned himself and his God while lingering in prison? Do you think that Joseph whined to God occasionally? Joseph had gone from favorite son to prisoner through no fault of his own.
It is easy for us to forget that Joseph did not know how long he would remain in prison. We know how the story ends, but Joseph did not. It takes us a few seconds to read about those two whole years, while Joseph had to live them out one second at a time, all 32 million of them.
Like Joseph, I don’t know how my story will play out moving forward. Do I trust that the same God who was faithful to Joseph is still in control?
I do and I don’t. My head tells me that God remains in control while my heart too often falters in that belief. But even when I falter God gently reminds me of how blessed I really am. I am encouraged by David when he writes:
“I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.” (Psalm 37:25, ESV)
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, ESV)
If Jesus is who he said he is, then I have nothing to worry about. Now, if I could only convince my heart . . .