This week in my daily devotions I came across the story of Joseph the dreamer. You can read the full story in Genesis Chapters 37-50. For purposes of this article I will summarize the story.
Joseph was the 11th of Jacob’s twelve sons from whom the twelve tribes of Isreal emerge. He was his father’s favorite having been born in his old age.
Jacob evidently showed his love for Joseph much to the dislike of his other sons. He made him a special coat of many colours which Joseph wore with pride. When Joseph was 17, he had two strange dreams. In one dream as he gathered grain with his brothers; suddenly his bundle of grain stood up straight and his brothers’ bundles gathered around his and bowed down to it. In the second dream, he saw the sun, moon and 11 stars bowing down to him. This time he shared the dream not just with his brothers but his father as well; who kept his sons dreams in his mind.
These dreams of course caused more hatred for Joseph and his brothers later sold him as a slave. He ended up in Egypt in Potiphar’s house. He would later win the favour of his master, who put him in charge of his household. This was until he was falsely accused of sexual assault by Potiphar’s wife and imprisoned. While in prison he interpreted two dreams which came true. This gift later brought him before the Pharoah King of Egypt. The king had two strange dreams that no one would interprete. After Joseph interpreted the dreams he found favour in the eyes of the Pharoah who made him second in command in Egypt.
Although there was a terrible famine in Egypt and the neighbouring countries, due to Joseph’s efforts the Egyptians had enough food plus some to spare. His father Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to find food. His brothers not recognizing Joseph immediately bowed to him when they came to buy food. In the events that followed, Joseph revealed himself to his brothers and had his father and other relatives relocate to Egypt to escape the famine. His brothers of course feared for their lives but Joseph responded as follows “you intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives”.
This story has many lessons but I wish to share a few that I have been reflecting on and how they apply to us today.
1. It is good to share SOME dreams.
Some people have argued that Joseph should have kept his dreams to himself then he would not have gotten into trouble with his brothers. However, what is interesting to note is had he not shared the dreams he may never have found himself in Egypt. Then how would his dreams have come to pass?
This leads me to conclude that indeed some dreams are meant to be shared. I identify with Joseph because like many people I like to share good news. Very unfortunately, in some cases people do not view it as good news and instead think it is ‘bragging’. What I have learnt over the years is to ask God for wisdom on how and to whom to share my dreams with.
2. God gives each of us dreams about our lives.
Joseph was only 17 when God revealed to him what would happen in his life. The dreams did not come true over night, there were several trials before they came to fruition. Many times God has whispered to us the plans he has for our lives but because of the circumstances around us we chose to bury our dreams.
I am a firm believer in the fact that each of us has a divine purpose to fulfill here on earth. I believe that God is always orchestrating our lives to ensure we live out our purposes. Sometimes our clues come through dreams, or thoughts or messages from people around us. Our duty is to hold onto these clues and write them down. We are told to “write down the revelations for they await an appointed time”.
3. We all have the Mind of God
In her Book The Game of Life and How to Play it, Florence Scovel correctly argues that in addition to the conscious and subconscious mind; all human beings have a superconcious mind. She calls it “the God mind in man”. Her findings are backed by scripture which states that, “for who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ”. Scovel reasons that the superconcious mind is the realm of perfect ideas and always flashes to the conscious mind the plans God has for us. Sometimes these plans appear unattainable or too good to be true.
The question to ponder is what plans has the superconcious flashed on your conscious mind? Do not look at the circumstances or try to figure out how things are going to unfold. Yours is to implant these ideas onto your subconscious mind which will then go to work to ensure that you stay motivated through all the struggles and trials of life. Please do not let the world cloud your visions and say you are not good enough or are incapable of fulfilling your dreams.
4. Fulfillment of dreams is dependent on God’s timing.
The fact that a dream is from God does not mean it will come to pass swiftly and without hurdles. Joseph was a teenager when he had his dreams. He was 30 when he began to serve the Pharaoh. After this he had to wait another 9 years before his brothers first came to Egypt for his dreams to materialize. In between he had to be a slave and prisoner.
Today our slavery and imprisonment may come in different forms. Perhaps you are battling an addiction, a terminal illness or bad habits that you wish to get rid of you. I would advise that you hold on to the dreams and plans that have flashed on your superconcious and know that “in his timing he makes all things beautiful” and you will overcome.
Alternatively, maybe like Joseph you are in the valley of your life and what you are doing or going through is very far from the dreams God revealed to you. We see that in spite of where he was, Joseph exhibited a spirit of excellence and maintained his integrity.
Let us purpose to do the best we can whatever the circumstances and trust that God will see us through the waiting period. In spite of what is happening do not bury your dream, keep it alive in your heart one day it will see the light of day.
I would like to know on what side of the fence you are?. Do you believe that we should share our dreams? Please leave me a comment in the comments section.