Daily Archives: March 5, 2009

Contemplating Joseph

One of my favorite biblical people is Joseph (Genesis 37-50).

Because of his youthful arrogance and being Jacob’s favorite son, his older brothers first wanted to kill him, but instead sold him into slavery.

He endured many a hardship since, but in the end wielded power second only to Egypt’s Pharaoh. No matter what Joseph endured, he did so worshiping God.

I wish I could say I do the same. I tend to whine when life doesn’t go my way, especially where writing is concerned. I point out all my hard work and say, “Why does success continue to elude me?” I work and work, I study until my eyes blur, and still it’s not enough.

Maybe it’s my definition of success that needs re-evaluation.

So often I focus only on the goal – to see my novels on a bookstore shelf. Yet when I approach editors and agents, they tell me either I need to polish my writing even more, or it’s not saleable. Didn’t God give me the story and the desire to write it? Does he not want people to read the story? After all, every time I think about giving up, he pushes me forward.

He also reminds me of Joseph. It’s not always about the goal, but the knowledge and wisdom gained during the journey.

Joseph’s hardships are what prepared him for Pharaoh. He used what he learned as a slave and in prison to earn people’s trust and ended up saving Egypt from a seven-year famine. He also learned the value of humility and keeping faith in God no matter what his circumstances. Without his integrity and unswerving faith in God, he would not have survived.

During my devotion time I will continue to study and contemplate Joseph’s life. I want to be able to enjoy and appreciate the journey God forged for me. Though my goals are important, what God wants to teach me takes precedence.

In looking back, when I first began writing my novel now almost seven years ago, within those years I learned more about the craft. All my writing has improved immeasurably since. God asking me to wait tells me to continue to study and make my writing shine even more. To wait doesn’t mean to sit around, but to continue to work towards God’s goals.

I just realized from the previous sentence I need to focus less on me, and more on God. How I reach my goals isn’t my doing, but God’s. I must remember to trust God’s wisdom, and when he tells me I’m not ready for something, I’m not. 

To work as I wait is a far better use of my time than complaining about it.