Jealousy poisoned the hearts of Jacob’s sons against Joseph, their own flesh and blood. They wanted him dead to abort his dream of becoming their leader. Brotherly love was butchered on the altar of incurable hatred.
Joseph escaped death by a whisker but ended in Egypt as a slave. But God who formed Joseph from dust knew the number of hairs on his head. He knew his path from the beginning. His pathetic journey to slavery was a preordained step to his future greatness. Blinded by hatred, his brothers that conspired against him never knew that selling Joseph off to slavery was a ticket to the palace. It was indeed a fulfilment of the same dream they desirously wished to truncate. What God has written, no man can erase.
When it seemed Joseph had been forgotten in the lurch of prisonyard, heaven beamed its light on him. It took only one night to change his story. Pharaoh slept and had a troubled dream. Hordes of Egyptian Magicians and sorcerers failed in their interpretation. When no one could interpret Pharaoh’s dream, the forgotten Joseph was remembered.
Part of the cross of all children of God is the rejection by the world. The world will hate you. You will mourn while the world rejoices. There are moments when people forget you. You knock on doors but they won’t open. Your account gets to zero kobo. You ask but don’t receive. You seek but do not find. It is possible that those that once ate on your table would boo you out of their gate. When such happens, don’t let your heart be troubled.
The society could reduce you to an object of scorn or denigrate your worth as a man of little means. Even those you loved would kick you. You sow in tears and harvest more tears. Those you helped to climb the ladder suddenly turn their face against you, and push you down the valley. You find yourself sinking, yet no one offers a helping hand.
Although mortal man might forget, God won’t. The story of Joseph is an assurance that God never forgets his own. The rejection you suffered in the hands of those you looked up to could be the master key to your greater tomorrow. I can testify to this.
Let’s analyse the story of Joseph further. Pharaoh had a troubled dream, so that the glory of Joseph would manifest. Surrounded by worldly affluence, King Pharaoh felt uneasy because no one could interpret his dream. Only God turns the counsel of wise men to foolishness. And only one man in the vast land of Egypt could interpret Pharaoh’s dream. Joseph, a prisoner!
Have faith in God’s might. In a world populated by billions of people, God will surely make you relevant. It doesn’t matter the years it might take; what matters is that as long as the earth remaineth, it will come to pass.
At my quiet time, I had often reflected on Joseph’s last days in prison. Few hours to dawn, Joseph never knew he was steps away from the palace. In fact, he slept in the dark prison and woke up the next day in the arm of royalty. Time and season are in God’s hand, and he changes the fate of man at the tick of a clock. With hardwork, steadfastness and patience, we are only few steps away from our dream.
Often times we get so close to our breakthrough, but we suffocate its manifestation by the lamentations on our lips. Severally, we have success within reach but end up failing woefully. Why do we stand at the door of success, yet fail the little test of faith to turn the key? Many people have lost golden opportunities out of sheer impatience. Few steps to the Promised Land, many of us wheel right round and return to Egypt. May that not be your story!
I do not know the conspiracy hatched against you. But God assures us that no weapon formed against us shall prosper. I do not know the army of foes hatching insidious plots to destroy you. What I know is that God will never forsake the righteous or allow his chosen ones die in distress. He hears the groaning of prisoners from heaven. Even the whispers of our hearts are heard above.
Have faith in the God of Joseph. He will fight your battle. He will make all things right at the appointed time. So when family members stir animosity to rope you in, don’t seek vengeance. Sheathe your sword. Their antagonism might be the little push to your destiny. When your name tops the retrenchment list, don’t waste your tears. God has the master plan for your life. It takes a closed door for another to open.
When messengers of Satan trade mischief in your name, don’t let the devil see your tears. When adversaries pull the rug off your feet, be sure you will fall into God’s loving arm. Hold firm the trusted hands of God. If God could rescue Joseph from the teeth of death and make a slave a prince in a foreign land, there is nothing too difficult about you that heaven cannot handle.
When you suffer rejection in the hands of men, be assured that God has a better plan for you. That was my story many years ago. For nine years, I knocked on doors in search of a job. At various seasons, I floated on menial jobs to survive. Better jobs flew high above my reach. And few opportunities that came by cast merit underfoot. I still recall how I wrote an aptitude test for employment in one federal government agency and got to the final stage of the interview but was stopped at the gate because I had no recommendation letter from a Governor, Senator or societal heavyweights. In the eyes of the world, I was nobody. So my application was cast to the rejection bin.
But God proved himself. The Bible says he raises the poor from the dunghill and gives them a seat of honour among princes. From zero level, I found myself in the newsroom of The Sun Publishing Ltd, because I was told later that the recruitment exercise was left in the hands of an honest man, Femi Adesina. God raised a righteous man in a distant land, and he scored merit over parochial interests.
When I thought I had reached Canaan, a new door opened. The former Provost, FCE(T) Umunze, Prof Josephat Ogbuagu,mni, another wise man from the east, saw my star from afar. With no close relationship to him, Prof Ogbuagu, a habitual reader of Daily Sun and Vanguard newspapers, saw my work on the pages of the newspaper and invited me to replicate the skills in his institution. The federal appointment I couldn’t secure because I had no recommendation letter from a political godfather was given to me on a platter of gold. When God leads your way, iron gates open with ease.
This testimony is for somebody who has suffered rejection in the hands of men. Maybe, you have been ridiculed or denied opportunities in life. God knows the predicament you find yourself. Believe in your dream. Hold on to gospel of hope that in your desert of hopelessness, God can even use even your enemies to bless you. Though it tarries, your dream must surely come to pass.
Sam Otti is a gospel journalist and an ambassador of hope.