Two Full Years

Genesis 41:1-40 

“When two full years had passed. . . “ This is how the story of Joseph continues in our reading for today. For two full years Joseph continues to cool his heels in prison, faithfully serving the chief guard and fellow inmates. Of course Joseph had no idea what was coming or that God had the plan for the protection of His people well under control. All that Joseph knew was that he had been seemingly forgotten once again. I am sure that he believed as some point along the way that he would languish in that prison until his death.

In the midst of this incident involving Pharaoh and his dreams, it is probably weird that I would focus that short phrase. But it practically leapt off of the page for me today. When it appears I am in a situation alone two years can feel like a lifetime. Just imagine how Joseph must have hopefully waited those first few days after the cupbearer was released and placed back into the Pharaoh’s court. Surely the cupbearer would remember him and tell the Pharaoh to let him go. But with each passing day, hope probably dimmed as Joseph realized that wasn’t going to happen. Clearly though, Joseph remains faithfully connected to the Lord during that time for when the call comes to interpret dreams for the Pharaoh Joseph is prepared and ready to go. He successfully gives Pharaoh the message from God that the court magicians couldn’t figure out and now he is in a place of great power. His patient service is being rewarded – finally.

Inside of the Joseph story we are able to see the impact that waiting on God’s timing can bring about in our lives. In 13 chapters, we see how God moves people and circumstance so that His will is manifested in the lives of His people. All of us can look back over our own lives and see how God has exerted His will over our timing and brought about blessing for our lives. Had we been allowed to move forward satisfying our need for instant gratification as we are so wont to do, we would miss out on so much of what He has planned. Instead, sometimes, two full years (or even more!) have to pass in order for everything to be as He wills. Even with the sending of the Savior over 4,000 years had to pass between Adam’s fall into sin and the birth of Jesus. But when the time was perfect, Christ came to save us from our sin. For God, “two full years” isn’t even a breath!