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Summary: When Joseph is in prison for a crime he did not commit and is forgotten for two years having asked to be remembered, he learns to trust God even when it seems your life is put on hold.

TRUSTING GOD … WHEN GOD PUTS YOUR LIFE ON HOLD!

“Some time later, Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer and chief baker offended their royal master. Pharaoh became angry with these two officials, and he put them in the prison where Joseph was, in the palace of the captain of the guard. They remained in prison for quite some time, and the captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, who looked after them. While they were in prison, Pharaoh’s cup-bearer and baker each had a dream one night, and each dream had its own meaning. When Joseph saw them the next morning, he noticed that they both looked upset. “Why do you look so worried today?” he asked them. And they replied, “We both had dreams last night, but no one can tell us what they mean.” “Interpreting dreams is God’s business,” Joseph replied. “Go ahead and tell me your dreams.” So the chief cup-bearer told Joseph his dream first. “In my dream,” he said, “I saw a grapevine in front of me. The vine had three branches that began to bud and blossom, and soon it produced clusters of ripe grapes. I was holding Pharaoh’s wine cup in my hand, so I took a cluster of grapes and squeezed the juice into the cup. Then I placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.” “This is what the dream means,” Joseph said. “The three branches represent three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift you up and restore you to your position as his chief cup-bearer. And please remember me and do me a favor when things go well for you. Mention me to Pharaoh, so he might let me out of this place. For I was kidnapped from my homeland, the land of the Hebrews, and now I’m here in prison, but I did nothing to deserve it.” When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given the first dream such a positive interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I had a dream, too. In my dream there were three baskets of white pastries stacked on my head. The top basket contained all kinds of pastries for Pharaoh, but the birds came and ate them from the basket on my head.” “This is what the dream means,” Joseph told him. “The three baskets also represent three days. Three days from now Pharaoh will lift you up and impale your body on a pole. Then birds will come and peck away at your flesh.” Pharaoh’s birthday came three days later, and he prepared a banquet for all his officials and staff. He summoned his chief cup-bearer and chief baker to join the other officials. He then restored the chief cup-bearer to his former position, so he could again hand Pharaoh his cup. But Pharaoh impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had predicted when he interpreted his dream. Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer, however, forgot all about Joseph, never giving him another thought. Two full years later, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing on the bank of the Nile River.” (Genesis 40:1–41:1, NLT)

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INTRODUCTION

One cold winter day, a teacher was helping one of her kindergarten students put on his boots as he was about to leave and go out into the cold. He had asked for help and she could see why. Even with pulling and pushing, the little boots still didn’t want to go on. Eventually by the time the teacher had got the second boot on, she had worked up a sweat.

She almost cried when the little fellow said “But Teacher they’re on the wrong feet. Sure enough they were! It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than putting them on. Managing to keep her cool, she helped him with much effort to get the boots on the correct feet.

No sooner had she got them on when the youngster announced “Teacher, these aren’t my boots” She bit her tongue rather than scream at him as she desperately wanted to … “Why didn’t you say so?” Once again she struggled as she helped him pull the ill-fitting boots off. As the second boot came off the lad said “They are my brother’s boots. My Mom made me wear them!” The exasperated teacher didn’t know whether to laugh or cry! But with extreme patience she mustered up what tattered grace she still had and helped the boy wrestle the boots on his feet again. Helping to put his coat on she asked “Now where are your mittens?” He said “I stuffed them in the toes of my boots!”

The teacher is eligible for parole in three years! Talk about patience needed! I’m sure being patient is a problem for most of us especially when we are in a hurry to get on. No more so when we seem to find ourselves in the doldrums of life, marking time trying to understand why God has put our lives on hold.

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