So Joseph’s master took him and put him into the jail, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined; and he was there in the jail.Genesis 39:20
I know me. I would have been angry. Frustrated. Disappointed. I would have been wrestling with all sorts of questions. Struggling with the demons of doubt and despair. Tempted to give in to pity and bitterness. I would have been more than ready to give up and call it quits. I know the thoughts that would have been echoing across the landscape of my mind.”God, why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this? Prison? Seriously? I didn’t do anything wrong! I did everything right!!! If this is the reward for integrity, maybe I should have just slept with her? And what about Potiphar’s wife? What happens to her? Aren’t You going to expose her? Aren’t You going to avenge me? Defend me? Rescue me? Where are You when I need You most? Why have You abandoned me? Do You even care? Do You really exist?” Yeah. Forget prison. The threat of jail would have been nothing compared to the torture that would have been taking place in my spirit.
Honestly, I don’t know how Joseph handled it so well. But he did. I don’t want to get ahead of myself but if you read just a little further in the Biblical text you will find something wonderful. In spite of the recent turn of events two things continued to hold true in the life of Joseph. One, God was still with him. And two, Joseph continued to prosper at whatever he did. Amazing. Even in the worst of circumstances he managed to hold fast to his faith. When everything around him and everything within him was screaming at him to quit he remained faithful. He kept trusting. He kept serving. He kept believing. He kept living for God. He refused to allow an apparent injustice to move him away from his convictions. The situation was powerless to unseat the beliefs that sat upon the throne of his heart. Sure, things had not worked out as he had probably hoped. But that did not mean that God had either abandoned or failed him.
If I had to narrow the story of Joseph down to one central theme, it would be providence. What is providence? Glad you asked. I will do my best to explain. Providence is the stitching on the back side of the canvas that forms a beautiful tapestry on the front. Providence is the medicine that heals the body even when you can’t explain it or pronounce it. Providence is the winding road that brings you to your destination even though you can’t see around the next corner. Providence is a loving and sovereign God who causes all things to work together for the good for those who love Him and are the called according to His purpose. Yes, a new and different thread had been introduced into his life but Joseph still believed in the Artist. Yes, this treatment made him uncomfortable but Joseph understood that the Doctor knew more than him. Yes, life had taken an unexpected turn but Joseph still trusted the Navigator. Joseph was tempted to feel disappointed but in his heart he knew that God would never disappoint. No matter the circumstances God would use any and every situation for His glory and Joseph’s good. Even if that meant prison, Joseph was willing to trust that God was still in control, that God was still good. His temporary season of potential disappointment was actually a divine appointment. And in time God would prove once again that He never disappoints.