Long Delays

Genesis 41:25—42:28
Joseph was sold into slavery at 17 years of age by his older brothers. For the next 13 years, Joseph held various positions of leadership and influence, as well as spending time in prison due to a false accusation. Joseph had faithfully served Potiphar and acted with complete integrity, even when Potiphar’s wife wanted to seduce him. Still, the innocent young man was sent to prison. He displayed such reliability, even in prison, that the head jailor put him in charge of the other prisoners. Joseph worked faithfully for years until seemingly overnight, God rescued him, taking him out of prison and into the palace where he served second only to Pharaoh for the rest of his life.
God’s ways and timing can trouble us. We read this story and want to see Joseph quickly exonerated. He did nothing to merit his brothers’ evil actions or being imprisoned because of the accusation of Potiphar’s wife. Yet, God did not release him from prison for many years. To us, the long delay seems so unjust. But God was at work the entire time! Though we often can’t understand God’s ways, we can trust Him in the mystery. He is a perfectly just God who is both holy and loving in all His ways.
Have you ever struggled to trust God when your prayers weren’t answered quickly or in the way you had hoped? Are you praying for a breakthrough right now, and it seems like God is far away and not listening to you? Ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen you through the story of Joseph. Recognize that your story is still being written. Thank God in advance for His faithfulness to work through all the wrong others may have done to you. Rest in the knowledge that He can bring about good from it all.