As children of God, we have unique dreams and gifts intertwined into the fabric of our hearts; crafted by our Father who knew us before we were born. No matter what season we go through in life, but especially in the darkest of them, we doubt the gifts God has given us and the plans He has for us. Even when we are sure in what He is doing, we second guess, hesitate to fully believe in, and discredit the potential of the gifts we have in our hearts and the calling God is unfolding in our path. Joseph is a messy, beautiful, and extreme example of this struggle we all face.
From a young age, God revealed His plans for Joseph through his dreams. Through the Holy Spirit, Joseph was able to interpret his dreams and understand the weight of the calling God placed on His life. He didn’t see the weight of the future suffering he would have to endure in order for God to exalt him to such a place of authority and influence, but he definitely saw the weight of blessing. Although we have no way of anticipating all the gifts and plans God has set aside for us, we see the blessings in what we do currently know. Joseph had this joy when he told his brothers about his dream, but he didn’t see the full implications of His calling; the struggle or the magnitude of blessing it would bring.
This is important to remember when we go through hardships. Joseph suffered for years directly because of his calling. He spent years in slavery and in prison. There are times we look at our situation, as I’m sure Joseph did, and we ask God how He could possibly use us when we are so broken and far from where we feel we need to be. There are times in life we lose instead of gain, we are demoted instead of promoted, and we hit walls in the growth or usage of our gifts. This was seen in Joseph’s life when his brothers sold him into slavery to Ishmaelite traders who were on their way to Egypt. I’m sure being sold by his brothers for 20 pieces of silver made him feel anything but destined for greatness. If Joseph would have lingered in a state of doubt and despair for long enough, allowing the Devil to convince him that he was wrong about the plans God had for him, he may not have had the faith required to obey God’s direction. Several years later when Joseph’s brothers had to go back to him for more grain and to prove they were not spies by bringing Benjamin to get Simon back, their father Israel said, “Put some of the best products of the land in your packs and take them down to the man as a gift—some balsam and some honey, aromatic gum and resin, pistachios and almonds” (Genesis 43:11). He also told them to take twice the money that Joseph gave them. Because all of God’s promises are yes and amen in Him, when we lose or suffer relating to our calling, gifts, or anything else we invest in Him and His Kingdom, He will always bless us with what we lost, or things that are greater. It is so beautiful that God includes balsam, honey, and aromatic gum in the narrative of Joseph’s life to remind us that no matter what we lose in this world for God, He will give it, or something greater, back to us either on earth or in Heaven. May we be encouraged to push through doubt and any fears despite what we may suffer to follow God’s guidance and calling in our lives.