What I'm Reading Today: Genesis 45-47
Each of us has someone in our life that has gone the extra mile to help us make our way in life. That was certainly the case with Joseph. As I've spent the last couple of days immersed once again in Joseph's story, I was particularly drawn to the role that the Pharaoh played in Joseph's story. First, the Pharaoh gave Joseph a position as his personal assistant shortly after he arrived in Egypt. (For the sake of making my point, I'll conveniently skim over the part where Pharaoh took Potiphar's word over Joseph's and imprisoned him for 2 years on false charges). Then Pharaoh rewarded Joseph for interpreting his dreams by making Joseph the second most important person in Egypt. Then Pharaoh not only gave Joseph wealth – he allowed Joseph to pass the goods onto his family when Joseph called them out of Canaan. Time after time, the Pharaoh was the agent in the story that moved things along and allowed God's blessings to reach Joseph and his family.
One of the people in my life who played such a role was my mother. At every critical stage in my development, she was the one who was willing to make personal sacrifices in order to share the wealth of God's blessings with me. Let me give you just one example.
I had three siblings who were significantly older than myself (7-10 years older). My mother had long dreamed of taking painting lessons as she had a deep well of artistic talent within her. She could never afford to take such lessons when the kids were home, however. When my sister graduated from high school, my mom thought, "This is finally my chance to do something for myself and take painting lessons" – so she started taking lessons in the summer of 1978.
That fall I was scheduled to start the fifth grade. That meant I could begin learning my first musical instrument – the saxophone. I wasn't too excited about the saxophone. Instead, I kept talking about how much I wanted to take piano lessons.
Guess what happened?
My mother set aside her dream of learning to paint so my parents could afford to put me in piano lessons.
That personal sacrifice paid huge dividends for me – for it was through my music that I first began exploring my call to ministry. Who knows where I would be had not I had the "Pharaoh-like" figure in my life that was willing to make personal sacrifices in order to support my development.
Today I would ask you to think about the person (or persons) in your life that played a role like Pharaoh for you – the person who helped make things happen for you and put you in a position to become the person you are. As you remember those persons, take a moment and give thanks for the blessing of that individual.
Til next time …