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Weekly Wisdoms

In every situation, there are always two stories—the story you see and the story God sees.

Sometimes life seems to be taking us down a huge detour and everything looks like it’s not going our way. In those situations, our life and our story seems to be a disaster.

This is exactly what happened to Joseph, whose story is found in Genesis 37-50. Joseph’s brothers jealously hated him and sold him into slavery. Joseph was wrongfully put in prison for raping Potifer’s wife, when really he refused to compromise his integrity by sleeping with her. Then, Joseph helped get the chief cupbearer out of jail; however, when the cupbearer had an opportunity to return the favor and get Joseph out of jail, the man forgot about Joseph. Joseph ended up spending thirteen years in jail for something he didn’t do.

At this point Joseph’s story was going haywire, but God’s story was right on track. That’s because God had an amazing plan for Joseph’s life; God was going to use Joseph to save Egypt and the surrounding lands for seven years of devastating famine. What looked to Joseph like a huge detour was really a great plan of God to provide food for countless people, including the very brothers that had sold Joseph into slavery.

At the end of this, Joseph realized that God had a bigger plan for his life, and after his brothers come to him for food, he tells them: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).

All along, God’s story was right on track.

This same principle is also true in the life of Jesus. To the disciples, it looked as those Jesus would be a great king who would rule Israel and return the nation to greatness. They hailed him as a great leader. So, when Jesus was being crucified, the story they saw looked like a major train wreck—this great leader whom they had followed for the past three years was suddenly dead. However, God’s story was at its peak—God was in the process of connecting humanity to himself.

There’s what you see and what God sees.

When your life seems to be a major disaster; know that God has bigger plans to use your life for great things. The story you see may not reflect the long-term story God has planned. Therefore, trust God, knowing that he works for good in all circumstances (Romans 8:28).

Time is the price you must pay for intimacy with God.

One of the most valuable things that a person could possibly have is an intimate relationship with God. That same God who is big enough and powerful enough to create the whole universe is also small enough and caring enough to desire a personal relationship with you–a relationship that will last for eternity.

Of course, such an intimate friendship won’t happen by chance. Your relationship with your best friend didn’t come overnight, and your relationship with God is no different. It requires time.

There is a principle that can be seen both in the Bible and in the world, which basically states that you reap what you sow (see 2 Corinthians 9:6; Galatians 6:7-8). However, you can’t expect to reap a harvest on seeds you’ve never sown. In other words, you can’t expect to know God well if you don’t invest significant amounts of time and energy into the relationship.

Therefore, it is very important how you use your time. No wonder Paul, in Ephesians 5:15-16, wrote this: Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Here, Paul is encouraging us to use our time wisely–that is, to make the most of it.

The way to make the most of your time is to invest it into something of great value that lasts forever–an intimate relationship with God.

A practical tip that I have found to be true in my own life is this: Reserve a specific slot each day to spend time with God. Don’t do anything else during that time; make it your time specifically for you and God. You can’t use the excuse, “I’ll read my Bible and spend time with God, as soon as I can find some time.” You will never find time! You must make time. Therefore, reserve time for God, remembering that time is the price you must pay for intimacy with God.

 

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