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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Life Lessons From the Bible - New Insights on Joseph

By Vauna Byrd

This week I was reading in the Bible, the story of
Joseph of Egypt-a story I've read many times, but I had some new
insights this week. Most everyone knows the basics...his father Jacob
loved Joseph so much that his brothers were jealous of him. So they
sold him to some travelers and told their father he had been killed by
a wild beast.

Now, the only thing Joseph ever really did to bring
his fate upon himself was to be so well trusted and beloved. But at a
tender age he was taken from his family to become basically a slave.
But what I realized is that the Lord had a greater plan for Joseph.
Here he had these terrible things happen to him through no fault of his
own that were the Lord's means of bringing about his greater purposes.

ended up in Egypt as a servant to Potiphar, captain of Pharaoh's guard.
There he became trusted and loved as well. Potiphar made Joseph
overseer of his household. He was given access to every thing that
Potiphar had... except one, his wife. Well, Potiphar's wife ended up
with her eye on Joseph. But, Joseph, being true and faithful as he was,
wasn't about to be seduced. But the wife of Potiphar took this
personally and accused him of trying to seduce her.

Here is
another of life's lessons in this. One thing I've learned is that
frequently those who scream the loudest about things tend to be guilty
of exactly those things themselves.
So Joseph ended up in prison for this. But it was as a result of
his time in prison that Joseph ended up being Pharaoh's right hand man.
Through interpreting the dreams of others in the prison, he was sent
for when the Pharaoh had a dream that no one else could interpret.

how crappy would that be, to be sold to strangers as a young man, then
get thrown in prison for doing what's right! But it's important to see
that these were God's steps to put Joseph in the right place at the
right time.

So here's lesson #1 I took from this reading: When we
have adversity in our lives, look to God to see how He is blessing our
lives instead of feel like he must be punishing us or is not mindful of
us. How many times in life have you seen someone lose a job, which
feels devastating, but that ending up being the road to a better job
that either pays better or they enjoy more, or it moves them to a new
location that ends up being just the right place for them? There are a
lot more examples of this. If you look for them in your life you will
see them.

Lesson #2 has to do with the dreams Joseph interpreted
for Pharaoh. The first was that seven healthy and fat kine (cattle)
were devoured by seven ill favored and lean-fleshed kine. In the
second, seven thin and wind blasted ears of corn devoured seven full
and good ears. Joseph interpreted this as seven years of plenty
followed by seven years of drought. So during the seven years of plenty
Egypt, under Joseph's direction, gathered and stored food. Then during
the seven years of want, those in Egypt had enough to eat and also had
enough to sell it to those in surrounding areas. So what lesson is
there for us in this?

Well, how different would the economy be if
during the recent time of plenty our country would have built more
savings and bought less fancy stuff? People borrowed from the future
and the future fell through on them. My religious leaders have given
the counsel throughout my entire life to spend less than we make and to
save for a rainy day. Unfortunately, most people have not heeded that
counsel and I believe the Lord finally said, "Enough!" The good news is
that God is a loving father who does not wish to punish his children
but he also can't save us from the consequences of our choices.

I'm not by any means saying that everyone who is suffering financially
deserves it. But this is an opportunity for us to learn to save more
and spend less. And the true test will be when the economy picks up and
is booming again. Will we still spend less and save more? Or will we
begin to borrow from the future again?

And I'll just touch on the
last lesson Joseph has to offer us. This one's more obvious and wasn't
new to me this week but it's important. Take a look at how quickly he
forgave his brothers when they came to Egypt to buy grain to keep their
family from starving. Let's all try to forgive a little more and be
less likely to harbor resentment.

I realized I had a lot to learn
from Joseph of old. I can look more for the blessings in my adversity
and see it as an opportunity for growth and change. I can save for a
rainy day instead of borrowing from an uncertain future. And I can
forgive more and resent less. God blessed and prospered Joseph and I'm
certain that he had a peace in his life and in his heart that few
experience. I believe that God will bless and prosper us and give us
more peace in our hearts as we follow his example.

©2009 Vauna Byrd

Byrd is a successful Life Coach, Business Mentor, Student of Personal
Development, Entrepreneur, and stay at home Mother with 7 children. To
find out what program has helped her reach her potential and achieve
emotional freedom, visit her website http://www.empower2attract.com
Be sure to subscribe to her daily motivational & inspirational
email message and/or submit an inspirational or success story to her
blog http://empower2attract.blogspot.com

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