In the Torah is the amazing story of Joseph, a young, talented fellow who one day ended up staring up at the sky from the bottom of an empty cistern with no way out. To make matters worse, he was thrown in there by his own brothers. Ouch! But God wasn’t finished with Joseph. From pit to prominence, he steadily rose up to become Pharoah’s right-hand guy, helping to sustain his family in time of famine. Ever think about what the view looked like to Joseph in that pit? Maybe vultures were circling overhead. Maybe the stench was unbearable. Who knows? One thing we do know, Joseph didn’t give up.
I heard a story about a rabbi in the days of the apostles named Nacham. Nacham’s favorite saying was, “This too is for the good.” He said this so much they called him, “Nacham This Too.” Romans 8:28, one of my favorite verses says, “And we know for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (ESV) Do you love God? Are you called according to his purpose? If so, then be of good cheer! Whatever you’re going through, it’s only temporary.
Years ago I watched a movie entitled, “Karate Kid.” Ralph Macchio played Daniel LaRusso, a bullied high school senior. Pat Morita played Mr. Miyagi, a wise, old Okinawan gentleman who’s pretty handy at karate. Miyagi takes Daniel under his wing to train him. One particular part of his training had him waxing cars. Remember, “Wax on, wax off?” Daniel was thinking, what does waxing cars have to do with karate? But Mr. Miyagi had a plan that Daniel couldn’t see. Daniel went on to win the tournament, win the girl, win the hearts of moviegoers.
God has a plan for us that we can’t always see. He can take the inglorious and make it glorious. Maybe you feel like you’re in the pit right now, but just hang in there a little bit longer. Your help is on the way. One last story. I watched a documentary about Mel Fisher, the famous treasure hunter. He and his sons would go out every day searching for the Atocha, a gold-laden sunken ship off the coast of Florida. Every day Mr. Fisher would say to his sons, “Today’s the day.” This went on for 11 years. The sons got tired of hearing it but one day it really was the day. They found it.
Do they call me Gary This Too? Not lately. Sometimes I’m Gary Grumpy, Gary Griper, Gary Goof-off. But I’m gonna try a little harder to have an attitude of gratitude regardless of the situation. Shalom.
Picture originally found here