You may have heard of the story of Joseph in the Old Testament. Joseph was his dad’s favorite boy but was despised by his brothers, who sold Joseph as a slave in Egypt.
While in Egypt, Joseph was doing very well for his boss, Potiphar. But Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him and Joseph resisted her sexual advances. Incensed, the wife accused Joseph of attempted rape and Potiphar threw him in jail. But rather than becoming bitter, he still used his God-given talents to serve others, even in such an undesirable place like a dungeon.
Later, Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, had two dreams, which Joseph interpreted as a warning sign that a severe famine would befall the land. Joseph recommended that the Egyptians should hoard a massive amount of food to sustain them during this terrible period. Pharaoh liked Joseph’s interpretation and advice so much that he immediately appointed Joseph as his second-in-command to oversee the food storage project.
I do not know what is your situation at work.
Are you a factory worker toiling in heat and obscurity?
Or a schoolteacher wondering whether you are making an impact on your students?
Or a salesman struggling to clinch that next deal?
Or a call-center agent enduring the grind of the graveyard shift?
I doubt Joseph saw his being a slave and prisoner as “Boy, this is great career training.” Yet he was faithful to the smaller yet significant responsibilities – even if it was in a place of pain!
Whatever your status, take heart. Give your best today. Excellence builds upon itself and soon, it won’t go unnoticed. Rather than whine about not being given the big breaks, cultivate a grateful heart that you have an arena where you can showcase your unique personality and abilities.
Joseph used his God-given gifts “in the hidden places, among forgotten people.” But it became his prelude to greatness.
So can we.
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Had the first man not given up too soon, he would be rich beyond his wildest dreams.
A man was strolling through his land and found a nugget of gold on the ground. Excitedly, he grabbed a shovel and began digging around. He dug dozens of pits. He dug wide and he dug deep. But instead of more gold, he only uncovered more dirt.
Fatigued and disgusted, he sold his hole-ridden property to someone else.
The new owner took a closer look at one of the holes. Out of curiosity, he dug a few inches further down and discovered what turned out to be a rich vein of gold. Had the first man not given up too soon, he would be rich beyond his wildest dreams.
Too often we struggle with problems and pressures and, like that disgusted owner, we give up. But we may miss out the “gold” that comes with sticking it out.
I am not saying that there are no circumstances under which we quit. I am saying that we think carefully before we do. Don’t sacrifice what may be a good place right now in favor of the temporary relief of surrender.
If today you want to raise the white flag, don’t. Hang in there.
Persevere. Keep the faith. You’ll be glad you did.
Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash