On the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, he made a feast for all his servants and lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants. He restored the chief cupbearer to his position but he hanged the chief baker. Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. Genesis 40:20-23
How many years had Joseph been waiting for vindication? A long time. Finally, someone is about to go to Pharaoh and personally speak to him about Joseph’s innocence. Can you imagine how excited Joseph was the morning the cupbearer was taken out of the cell and transported back to the palace? Joseph thought it might be a matter of hours before his own release.
The story takes a sickening turn and one awful sentence tells the story. ‘Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.’ Just reading this makes your stomach sink. Living it must have been unbearable. For another two years, Joseph had to wait for God to move. If you’ve ever waited years for something, you know how long that is.
I wonder about Joseph’s thoughts as that initial day turned to a week, then months. Did he think, ‘What are the chances that another person from Pharaoh’s court will end up in my prison cell! How is this ever going to work out for me now?’ These are the human reasonings of someone desperate. You and I will never know if he went down such hopeless trails of thought but I would bet the answer is yes. Faith must be fought for and the heart’s pendulum swings between faith and unbelief.
Maybe you’ve recently pressed in – in prayer – to ask God for a miracle. You thought the answer came. You felt such relief and joy and counted the minutes until your release from captivity. But then, the answer dissipated without yielding results. All hope vanished in an instant.
Life is full of broken dreams. The one we think will love us – doesn’t. The answer we think will deliver us – fails. The friend we think will grow old with us – betrays. At the center of it all is often a prayerful saint. When seeming answers are really closed doors, it’s hard not to feel tricked.
The only anchor is the love, character, and words of God. I must remember my size in contrast to His vastness. My view of things in comparison to His eternal perspective. What looks like the failure of a Father against His child is really a Father who holds up His child for something better to come. When hope is gone, faith must be re-born.
I cannot, and will not, turn away from You for what I do not understand. I hang on to You through my tears. Amen