When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why are your faces downcast today?” They said to him, “We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.” Genesis 40:6-8
Many royal courts employed dream interpreters since, in the near East, dreams were a way of foretelling the future. The royal cupbearer and the baker, because they were in prison, had no access to Pharoah’s dream expert after waking up from troubling dreams. But Joseph was intuitive and read their body language the next morning. He asked them why they were downcast, and they admitted their need of an interpreter. This was a divine appointment and Joseph instantly recognized it. He ascribed the power of interpretation to God only and made himself available.
I’m sure I’ve missed many divine appointments. I can be self-consumed. Would I have lived in my own world if I had been Joseph? Would I have interacted with my two cellmates? Would I have seen their need as an opportunity for God’s power to be on full display? God knows who will be in proximity to me on any given day, and my part is to live prayerfully so that I recognize a strategic opportunity when it’s staring me in the face.
Who is downcast nearby? Who is sick? Who lives in chronic pain? Who was up all-night churning because they lack wisdom about a decision? Who has been crying alone? Who is afraid of the future? Each of these is an opportunity. God’s kingdom begs to come to the people God puts in my path.
Fear keeps me from reaching out. If I don’t apply God’s Word to my own situations, I won’t have it ready for others. If I live in crippling fear about the future, how can I comfort others with the promises of God? I can’t give away what I don’t possess for myself.
The amazing thing about Joseph is that despite the multiple decades of slavery and imprisonment, he did not check out spiritually. He stayed engaged with his God. His spiritual skills were sharpened, not dulled. This prepared him to recognize, and then to act, when God brought opportunity.
Don’t let me live today by what is convenient. Give me the eyes to recognize what has been sent by you. Amen