Palaces That Prepare Us
Is it just me, or have you ever wondered what happened after Cinderella and Prince Charming rode off into the sunset? As a little girl I bought the happily- ever-after ending hook line and sinker; as a grown woman, I know what palace life is really like.
Despite what my real life experiences have taught me, I still get caught off guard when my expectations fall short of my reality.
I’ll never forget the day I landed my first full time job in ministry. I thought I had arrived. For years I had dreamed of what it would be like to work for God. I knew the job wasn’t my final destination, but it sure felt like I was finally at my happily ever after. My head was full of all the wonderful things I was going to do for God now that He had brought me to my palace, so to speak. Needless to say, palace life has been harder than I expected.
Lately I’ve been studying the life of Joseph and I’ve wondered if he too might have grappled to reconcile his expectations with his reality. Obviously, he must have been disappointed when his brothers sold him as a slave. But I wonder what he thought when he was purchased by Potiphar, Pharaoh’s captain of the guard, and put in charge of his entire household. Could he have thought, Someone has finally recognized my potential; I’m finally at a place where my dreams could come true?
If you know Joseph’s story then you know Potiphar’s palace was only another step in his journey. Yes, it was a place where he would gain valuable leadership experience but also a place where his character would be tested. Which makes me wonder, could our dream job be more about our preparation than happily ever after?
There’s something deep within us that yearns for the happy ending. I believe we can experience joy during the journey by remembering these three truths:
- This is not our final destination; all of life is preparing us for the ultimate happy ending when we meet Jesus face to face.
- There will be tests. Make no mistake. . . our dream job, dream marriage, and dream life will bring challenges to test us. (Thankfully they are all open book tests; the Bible gives us the answers we need!)
- What we do with the gap between expectation and reality determines our level of satisfaction. We choose our response when life doesn’t turn out the way we expected. Joseph’s life story gives us an excellent example of how to move past our past and toward the ultimate call of God on our lives. In the end, he considered it more valuable that God’s will was done than his comfort compromised.
What palace is God using to prepare you? Are you passing the tests, or has your chosen response kept you from enjoying the journey? If I’m honest, I have to admit that the gap between my expectation and my reality caught me off guard. I haven’t passed all of the tests. But today I’m determined to consider God’s will more valuable than my own comfort. I choose joy in the midst of my circumstances and I thank God that He is still preparing me for the ultimate happy ending.
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