It’s quite easy to simply become comfortable in life. Most of us prefer to not deal with changes at all. We like knowing what to expect and not having to think about the uncertainties that may lie ahead.
I remember working a job fair years ago as an insurance sales manager. Most attending the event had spent a decade or longer in aerospace careers and had been recently laid off with minimal opportunities available locally in their areas of expertise. I had a number of short visits, but not one prospect pursued a career in the life insurance industry!
These folks were willing to simply wait a while for new aerospace jobs to develop so they could remain in their chosen field. They had no interest in taking the risk of joining a top-notch company willing to train them and help them start in a new direction.
Interestingly, a year later I did hire a local engineer with almost 20 years of experience who was willing to take the challenge. He quickly became my top agent garnering a long and profitable career with the company.
God’s little nudges in life may not be noticeable to us as they occur, yet they happen all the time. I know He’s given me a few nudges and that’s exactly how I got my start in the insurance profession many years ago.
I had become extremely dissatisfied with corporate life and wanted to make a dramatic change in an attempt to find a satisfying career. And then a few months later, God nudged me to go to a local church, which led to a newfound relationship with my Father in Heaven.
Now Joseph was the apple of his father’s eye, and his older brothers knew it. They went so far as to sell him into slavery to some Midianite merchants who were traveling through the land. Joseph ended up in Egypt sold to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s Guard.
In Genesis 39:2 we’re told, “The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.” He was given charge of Potiphar’s household and everything his master owned. Then Joseph was falsely accused of improprieties with his master’s wife and found himself in the king’s prison.
While in prison, Joseph briefly met with two of Pharaoh’s servants who had fallen out of favor with the king. During their short stay in prison, the chief cupbearer and chief baker were assigned to Joseph.
While under his care, they both had dreams that Joseph interpreted for them. Upon interpreting the chief cupbearer’s dream, which proved to restore him to his position in Pharaoh’s court, Joseph asked him to remember him and kindly mention the circumstance to the king so that he, too, might be released. In interpreting the chief baker’s dream, Joseph had to tell him that he would be hanged for his misdeeds.
Sadly, Joseph was not remembered by the chief cupbearer and spent another two years in prison.
In God’s perfect timing, Pharaoh also had a dream and the chief cupbearer then remembered Joseph and his interpretations of the two previous dreams. Pharaoh’s many magicians were unable to interpret his dreams and he called Joseph out of prison.
When confronted with the dreams, Joseph explained that the interpretation would not be his but would come from God Almighty. The dreams represented seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine.
Then, Joseph wisely suggested a plan to store a portion of each harvest in preparation for the seven lean years. Pharaoh in turn wisely put Joseph in charge of his palace and the management of all Egypt’s resources.
During those lean years, Joseph’s father, Jacob, sent all 10 of Joseph’s older brothers to purchase grain in Egypt. When the brothers met with the 30-year-old head of state, they had no idea he was their younger brother whom they had sold into slavery more than a decade earlier. You really need to read the whole story found in Genesis 37 through 49.
Joseph’s response to his older brothers after Jacob dies has always touched my heart. They feared for their lives, but Joseph responded in Genesis 50:20-21, “‘You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.’ And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.”
You see, we have no way of knowing what God has planned for our lives. We must simply be willing to take a leap of faith and trust His nudges whether little or great as we live each day for His purpose. To God be the glory!
Passages to Ponder
— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.