Today in church, the speaker was talking about Joseph's life. When Joseph was a boy of seventeen, he had some dreams (Genesis 37:5-11):
Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. He said to them, "Hear this dream that I have dreamed: Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf." His brothers said to him, "Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?" So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.
Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, "Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me." But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, "What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?" And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.
Long story short, Joseph's brothers sell him into slavery, Joseph ends up in Egypt, serving an important Egyptian official, Potiphar. Unfortunately, Potiphar's wife had set her sights upon Joseph as her conquest, but Joseph was too honorable. She accuses Joseph of rape and he ends up in prison for about two years. Finally, Joseph gets out of prison, successfully interprets the Pharoah's dreams (with the Lord's help) and becomes the second-in-command of all of Egypt, helping to save Egypt and Israel from famine.
Today I realized that Joseph started with a dream that was given to him by God. It was a good dream, a true dream, and an honorable dream. His brothers were jealous of the dream. Yet, like in the bear hunt, the only way that Joseph would end up in the position of command, leading as God's instrument of preservation, was to go THROUGH the trial of being sold, imprisoned, and neglected.
I'm beginning to see that there are many times in my life where I may have a good goal in mind, but there is no way to go over it, under it, or around it--I have to go THROUGH it to get there. The "it" that I must endure varies, but there is usually an element of risk, the possibility (or certainty) of hurt, and the frustration of waiting. Though I don't like it, there is a freedom that comes from ceasing to try to go over/under/around and just surrendering to the "through", and moving forward in faith.