Today’s post comes courtesy of Meghan Gross, who is a Church Leadership major at LaGrange College and is completing an Internship in Pastoral Leadership at Christ Community Church.
Possibly the most relatable character on Sesame Street is Oscar the Grouch. He likes to complain and is often in a bad mood, but who can blame him? I mean, he lives in a trashcan, and people dump their mess on him all day. When I’m not in the best circumstance, I complain, too.
We all have our own seasons of life that we don’t enjoy. Maybe you have a job that you dread going to every day, and your coworkers are difficult to get along with. Maybe it’s our schools or a city that we’re living in when we’d rather live elsewhere. It could even be a season of life, such as struggling to find contentment in singleness or marriage. There are countless examples. We’ve all been somewhere at some point and wished we were somewhere else, doing something else, in some other stage of life.
If there’s anyone who can teach us how to live for God in each season, we have two great examples in both the Old and New Testament. Both Joseph and Paul were prime examples of this. Paul was thrown in prison, tortured, and redirected from where he planned to go multiple times on his missionary journeys. Yet he chose to remain content and to serve God faithfully wherever he ended up, even if he didn’t want to go there.
Joseph faced a variety of bad circumstances. He was thrown in a well and sold into slavery. Yet even in his darkest moments, when he was a slave far from his family, the Bible says, “The LORD was with Joseph so that he prospered.” Joseph was appointed to the role of attendant instead of slave, and he was put in charge over the entire household.
Things seemed to be looking up for Joseph, but as soon as things started to go well, he was accused of a crime that he didn’t commit and unjustly thrown in jail, even though he had done the right thing. But even there, Genesis 39:20-21 says, “…But while Joseph was there in the prison, the LORD was with Him; He showed him kindness…” And again, Joseph prospered and was promoted. Eventually, he was released and became the second most important person in all of Egypt, nearly as great as the Pharaoh himself. When he looked back on his trials, he didn’t say, “Yeah, that was terrible. Glad I got out of that!” He instead said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.”
Keep in mind that scholars believe Joseph became a slave when he was just 17 and that he became second to Pharaoh when he was 30. 13 years of suffering. Yet God brought good out of those unpleasant situations, and here we are thousands of years later, gleaning the benefits of their lives.
In your circumstance, how are you seeking to live for God? Are you sharing and displaying your faith with the coworkers that you find so unpleasant? Are you choosing to give thanks with a joyful attitude even when you’d rather be somewhere else? Those around you will notice. Wherever God has you, work hard and live for Him. Share your faith with those around you, and focus on displaying Jesus there. In that, you will have opportunities to fulfill your Biblical calling to share the Gospel and to make disciples.