“Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” 21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” [Genesis 37:19-22]
Have you ever been annoyed by a dreamer? By someone who doesn’t see the world as it is, but can envision something more? Joseph’s older brothers had had enough of his fancy talk and so they devised a plan. Reuben though dissuaded his brothers from killing Joseph, they simply put him in a pit in hopes that he would die and never be heard of again. We don’t hear much from Joseph at this point in his story, we only know that he was thrown in a pit and eventually sold off to traveling Ishmaelites. But when we do hear from Joseph again, we realize that his pit experience didn’t define him. He didn’t wallow in his lot. He didn’t curl up and give up. He kept dreaming. He kept trusting that there was something more than the reality that was. What about you. When you find yourself in the pit of life what do you do? Do you give up? Do you grow bitter and angry? Do you surrender to what is while still imagine what could be? We know that Joseph’s story doesn’t end in the pit. As he said much later in his story to his brothers, “God sent me here, not you, to preserve life.” Is it possible that our pit experiences are simply crucibles that God can work through to do something more with us and through us?
Amazing God, you can take the toughest moments of my life and sculpt them into good news for others as well as for myself. Give me the courage to trust that you can use the raw materials of my life to serve you and bless others. Amen.