Frank was a type A personality, he liked to do things efficiently and effectively and so he wasn’t much for being patient. He also didn’t have a long fuse when it came to negative conversations. In fact, patience and bad news seemed to be the epitome of wasteful. Why should he be patient, why should he wait for something to happen? And at the same time why should he read the negative stories in the newspaper or watch the 10 o’clock news, it wasn’t like he could change the outcome. When he got a call from his wife during a busy day at work, she talked slowly and didn’t seem very upbeat. Frank interrupted her and exhorted her to be brief and positive. After all, he didn’t have time. She paused for a moment and then cheerfully replied, “I discovered the airbags in our new BMW work great!” (Dr. Paul Chappell).
Sometimes, no matter how eager we are for good news and for action, there are periods of life where things come to a sudden and drastic stop. Where we get to discover the airbags of our new car, or cancer diagnosis puts our plans in a holding pattern, bankruptcy makes retirement a dream; grief guts us of any hope for the future. If you’ve been to the DMV on a busy day, you’ve probably experience the frustration of waiting. So far in our sermon series Dirty Jobs, we’ve looked at a few of the dirty jobs Joseph was required to perform in hopes of being a man of God in the midst of a world falling apart. Joseph’s story appears to continue declining series of starts and stops, once the favored son and the hated brother, he was thrown into a cistern and sold as a slave. In the house of Potiphar he excelled as a manager only to be caught up in a miscarriage of justice when his master’s wife claimed he “made sport of her” and now for all his faithfulness and all his willingness to honor God with his life, he is the newest resident of the Egyptian criminal justice system. Even though he has excelled once again behind bars, given greater responsibility—it is still being done behind bars.
If you struggle waiting, you’re not allow. I know a lot of you are baseball fans, some of you are die-hard Cubs fans, others are wise Cardinal fans, but the Wall-Street Journal did some analysis of America’s pastime and found a lot of time just passing by. In their study time begin innings racked up 42:41, time between pitches took up 1:14:49, and all in all, nearly 90% of the game is spent waiting. So baseball game a decree–hurry up!
How do we handle the Dirty Job of wrestling with waiting when we aren’t hanging out for a leisurely day at the ballpark? Although Joseph was in a family line chosen by God, with huge promises, he was left wrestling with waiting, waiting for freedom, waiting for justice. Joseph’s story behind bars gives us three insights into how to respond in Genesis 40:
(v. 1-4) Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3 and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined. 4 The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them.
WAITING ON GOD OFFERS US A CHANCE TO BE FAITHFUL TO GOD: Continue reading “Dirty Jobs: Wrestling with Waiting”