The Long Haul

"I waited patiently for the Lord,

and he turned to me and heard my cry for help.

He brought me up from a desolate pit,

out of the muddy clay, and set my feet on a rock,

making my steps secure.

He put a new song in my mouth,

a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.

How happy is the man who has put his trust in the Lord

and has not turned to the proud

or to those who run after lies!"

-Psalm 40:1-4

Waiting patiently. Is it something you are good at? If you are like most, probably not. But here is the truth- God works on His schedule, not ours. Therefore, patience is required.

Here's an example: Joseph was a young man whose brothers threw him into an empty cistern ("a desolate pit") in their jealousy. As Joseph sat in this pit he cried out for help to his brothers pleading for them to take him out, but they ignored him and ate their lunch. When they finally did bring him out of the pit, they sold him to slave traders who took him on to Egypt where he was sold to a man named Potyphar. While in Potyphar's house Joseph worked and became head servant, but was falsely accused of molesting Potyphar's wife. He was thrown in prison where still no help came. But while in prison he was put in charge of other prisoners until one day two of the prisoners told Joseph of their dreams. When they were released Joseph asked if one of the prisoners would tell the Pharaoh (leader of Egypt) that Joseph had been falsely put in prison. The released prisoner forgot for THREE YEARS to tell the Pharaoh of Joseph's request, but when he did Joseph was brought to Pharaoh and was able to interpret Pharaoh's dream and was put in charge of the stockpiling of grain for the Egyptian Empire in preparation for a famine predicted to happen 7 years later.

This is the Sunday School version of this story, and in Sunday School as we breeze through it, we forget that Joseph was sold into slavery as a 17-year old and came into the service of the Pharaoh at age 30! That's THIRTEEN YEARS of crying out to God to be released from the "desolate pit" he was in! And realize that part of that "desolate pit" was the separation from his family which would not end for another SEVEN YEARS! Meaning Joseph was in this "desolate pit" for TWENTY YEARS in all! Now, how good are you at being patient?

How long before you give up 3 weeks? 13 days? 20 minutes? When you come to those "desolate pit" moments or years, remember Joseph crying out, and the faithful God who was with him all the way through right up until-

"Joseph went to Goshen to meet his father Israel.

Joseph presented himself to him,

threw his arms around him, and wept for a long time."

Genesis 40:29

This is the joy and happiness that comes to anyone who chooses to put their trust in the Lord, who places your feet upon the rock. But you need to be able to have the patience to trust Him for the LONG HAUL!


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