So here I was working in a dead-end job, but I believed that I was there only temporarily; that just as he had done for Joseph, God would open the door of opportunity for me. The time came when my manager was promoted to another area of the organization, the Software Programming Department. I remember wishing him well and asking him to remember me if an opportunity for a junior programmer opened. He said he would. I did this because I read how Joseph asked Pharaoh’s cupbearer to:
“...keep me in mind when it goes well with you, and please do me a kindness by mentioning me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house.”1
Like Joseph, I expected God to open for me a door of opportunity by using someone else as my facilitator. I shared this belief with that Christian woman on my job, expecting her to stand in agreement with me. Instead, she informed me that what I said was, “Impossible.” She said that, “Nothing like this had ever happened in all the years she worked in this place.” As I listened to her share these words confirmed in her by many years of experience, I’d come to a crossroad in my life. I could believe her and give up my vision of something better, or I could continue to believe that God would open the door of my opportunity. I chose to believe and trust what God had revealed to me in the life of Joseph. I remember thinking that,
“This woman doesn’t know me, why should I allow her to define my life’s future?”
Sometime later, a position did open up in the Software Programming Department, my former manager (Titus), remembered me and recommended me for the position. I was called in for an interview, and I grabbed that opportunity with every fiber within me; believing that the position was already mine.
Looking back at that time in my life, I appreciate now (much more than I did back then) that God creates opportunities for His children.
Back then, I blindly looked at scripture and appropriated it to my own life. I believed God could and would do anything for me. I looked at every obstacle as an opportunity for God to establish victory in my life. I read something recently which talked about the American culture and how we’re so focused on winning. Vince Lombardi, one of the coaching pillars of professional football once said,
“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the ONLY thing.”2
This mentality seems to permeate our culture and society in a way that dictates that everyone and everything that stands in our way must be defeated and vanquished. A sort of philosophy that insists, I must have victory, it’s my God given right as an American!
In examining how I overcome obstacles, it is imperative that I understand to some degree, God’s plan for me. I say this because I have come to accept the sovereignty of God. I accept it because I have come to realize that God does as He chooses and not at my bidding. Just as God provided Joseph with a door of opportunity to be released from prison, God allowed circumstances to occur in Joseph’s life that caused him to be imprisoned in the first place. This was part of God’s plan for Joseph.
I wonder what Joseph was thinking when his brothers threw him into that pit. Did he see himself in God's plan for Joseph or did he see himself stuck in a pit?
What were his thoughts as his brothers stood around mocking him for being a dreamer and favored son? Did he ask himself, "Why did this happen to me?" or did he remind himself to trust in the Lord my God.
I believe that just as I can overcome an obstacle by faithfully trusting in God, I also believe I can overcome an obstacle by trusting in God to enable me to endure what I face. The outcome is no longer the object to me; it is faithfully trusting in God. God may give me the victory in the heat of battle or God may give me the grace to endure the race; it is His sovereign choice. It is so incredibly amazing to me as I try to comprehend that God exists outside the parameters of time. What occurs today in my life has always been known to God, just as all of my tomorrows are known by Him.
I know now that God has a plan for my life, a purpose for my living. This then gives me awareness and faith that in an infinite realm of possible occurrences, God already knows the outcome; and He is capable of handling any outcome I face. The real question is:
Am I capable of trusting my life in His hands, no matter how His plan for me unfolds?
I’m learning to appreciate this aspect of God even more because:
“…He gives us more grace…”3
“…'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”4
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”5
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”6
"The LORD of hosts has sworn saying, 'Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand,' "7
My Lord and God,
I marvel with joy at the measure of grace You pour upon our lives. You knew us before the worlds were formed, and to each of us, You establish a purpose and plan for our lives. I want to live in that purpose and walk in Your plan. Your grace is sufficient because it is unmeasurable; my life overflows with Your amazing grace. Often we hear the words, "Impossible" and "That can never happen!" These are mere words, the sum of which can never define or defy You. Whether it is Your plan for me to overcome or to endure, I choose to trust You with my life; totally and completely. I have found freedom in You. You give me such joy and peace, saying, "Thank You" seems so miniscule. You know our hearts, You pierce our thoughts, and You know the gratitude we express to You. Again, I say, "Thank You, my Lord and God." Amen.
- Genesis 40:14, NASB
- Famous quote by, Vince Lombardi, Head Coach, Green Bay Packers, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- James 4:6, NIV
- 2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV
- 1 John 4:4, NIV
- Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV
- Isaiah 14:24, NASB
- The NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth Barker, Donald Burdick, John Stek, Walter Wessel and Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA
- The Ryrie Study Bible (New American Standard Version), Edited by Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 0-8024-8920-6