Lord, help me to recognize and hear your voice as I walk through life. Amen
“When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.”
“In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him. Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings. Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was impaled.” So, Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh. Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”” Genesis 41:1-4, 8-16 (NIV)
Over the previous 13 years Joseph had an up and down life, but mostly down. As he was sitting in his prison cell, he never thought that he would soon be second only to Pharaoh in a few short days. He had demonstrated that he was gifted in interpreting dreams and in administration during this period of time, but right now things looked bleak. God opened the door to an opportunity to save Egypt and his family and he was successful.
I had a similar experience when I went to college to major in agriculture education. I had grown up on a farm and thought I could keep my hands in it by teaching vocational agriculture. After burning many holes in a piece of iron in welding class, I realized I was not gifted to be an ag teacher. Where was I to turn? Everyone said I needed to be in college, so I stayed and wandered through different majors, but nothing clicked for me. I finally turned to the counseling office for some direction. The aptitude testing pointed me to elementary education, which was the farthest career from my mind. Only women taught “grade school,” not men. I made the switch to elementary education and really enjoyed the classes. God led me to Abilene, Kansas where I was paired with two excellent mentor teachers and a great principal. This set the stage to serve young people in an educational career for more than 40 years.
In Jeremiah 29:11-13 God says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Keep this Scripture in mind as you consider how God has gifted you and where he wants you to best serve him. It may be in your career/job or it may in serving in a volunteer position feeding the poor, generosity, teaching the Word, etc. God will hear your prayer and guide you into the right slot.
Lord, as I evaluate my gifting, help me to internalize the words of Isaiah 30:2, “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Amen