My thoughts (Carla Peck):
Imagine Pharaoh’s frustration when none of the magicians and wise men of Egypt could interpret his dream. I am surprised that no one crafted a story just to impress him or avoid retaliation. Do you think the fear of being wrong limited the capabilities of the magicians and wise men?
Along comes Joseph, well-built and handsome. He’s in prison because he resisted the sexual advances of his master’s wife (see Genesis 39), and she couldn’t take rejection and had set Joseph up. What a disappointment, to be punished for doing the right thing.
He made friends in the prison, important friends who were officials in Pharaoh household. When one of them was released, Joseph asked him to remember him and put in a good word for him. But the friend forgot him — another blow. He was forgotten until Pharaoh had the dream no one could interpret. The official recalled that Joseph had interpreted dreams, so Pharaoh sent for him.
I see Joseph at a crossroad at this point. He had choices. Joseph could have choked under pressure and said he could not interpret the dream. After all, this was the all-important Pharaoh and Joseph was down on his luck. Joseph could have said, “Why should I interpret the dream, I am not rewarded for the good deeds I do. After all, I am sitting here in prison after doing the right thing.”
Instead, Joseph chooses to step up to the challenge, acknowledge and use the gift God has given him, and views this as an endeavor that God will see him through.
How can this story be applied to our lives? Remember, it was not the wise men and magicians who stepped up to the challenge. It was a person from the prison dungeon who said I can. It was Joseph’s attitude and faith that God had provided him with a gift to share which gave Joseph courage to succeed when the magicians and wise men did not.
How would my life change if I viewed God as a partner who would see me through my endeavors and challenges? Is fear preventing me from discovering or using my gifts? What traits do I possess that I have never considered to be gifts? What gifts have I overlooked in others? Have I ever considered taking on a challenge that may push me out of my comfort zone?
Thought for the day: God has given each of us numerous and various gifts. Lord, I pray that my heart and mind will be open to recognize the gifts in unexpected places. I pray that you will view God as a partner who will walk with you through your challenges today. Be undefeatable!
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.