What is the last movie you have watched? Are you a fan of action, sci-fi, romance, comedy, or possibly even animation? For Onah’s eighth birthday, he requested a date with mom and dad instead of a big birthday party. After a dinner out and a short shopping spree, it is time for the movie. The newest movie out for kids is “Zootopia.” In this movie, a small country rabbit dreams of leaving the carrot farm and being a police officer in the big city. While everyone doubts the skills, talents, and even size of the little female rabbit, we eventually find that it isn’t the size of the rabbit that makes the difference. Instead, it is the heart, focus, and determination that leads her to make a huge difference.
I am typically not a very good movie watcher, because half way through the story I lose focus and doze off. However, through this entire movie I found myself connecting with and cheering for the little rabbit. Something inside of her convinced her that she had a much greater purpose.
As we prepare on Sundays to look at the life of Joseph, I find a similar drive behind him. In fact, his story, I believe, is one that would make an incredible big screen movie. The storyline could go something like this… ‘A young dreamer betrayed by his brothers, sold as a slave, falsely accused and thrown in prison, who becomes the very person to save the lives of his entire family and the nation!’
Joseph was known by his brothers as a dreamer and the favorite son of their father. In the beginning of his story, I think Joseph was trying to find his way. He clearly had dreams that God had given him, and he knew the dreams were greater than he was. He simply shared them in a way that didn’t please his brothers. A difficult challenge as the youngest brother.
As the youngest of three brothers, I think Joseph did the best with sharing his dreams that he could. Unfortunately, brothers don’t like it very much when you say things like you are going to bow down to me one day. When you are smaller than they are and you talk too much, they see it as their responsibility to keep you in your place. I can relate with his story, though I never had dreams like Joseph. My dreams were more like, one day I am going to be bigger than you and then I will put this same whoopin’ on you. A couple years ago I finally beat one of my brothers in arm wrestling! Two years later in Water Basketball (more like drown Matt to get the ball), I dunked the ball with both older brothers hanging on my back. Their faces afterward were priceless. They were stumped that the younger brother just lifted them both out of the pool. If they read this, they will make sure it never happens again, but it happened once! If you are the younger brother, I know you can relate with me. If you can relate with me then you can also relate with Joseph.
Joseph’s story continues, and at each turn we find ourselves cheering for him. We cheer for him because no matter what the situation, Joseph chose the high road. Throughout his story, Joseph finds himself in different situations. He quickly becomes loved by the boss, but when the boss’ wife tries to make a move on him, Joseph is sent to prison. In prison, Joseph interprets a couple dreams. This eventually leads not only to his release, but to Joseph becoming the right hand man of Pharaoh. As you read his story, can you find a place where he shakes his hand at Heaven? Can you find the part of his story where he becomes entitled like he deserves something better? What about the time he could have really made a mess by sharing a bed with Potiphar’s wife? Did you read the time he manipulated the Cup Bearer or Baker’s dreams to include something about himself? Not once. In fact, with the exception of talking too much as a little brother, it is a challenge to find any wrong in Joseph. How is this possible? How does he stay so focused in spite of betrayal, lies, deceit, pride, selfishness, bitterness, and so much more?
Joseph didn’t have any secret over what we as Christians should already know! In Genesis 45:7 Joseph says, “God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by great deliverance.”
At the end of this amazing story, Joseph tells his brothers something that changed their perspective! He told them that GOD IS GREATER! That means His plans will reign in the end. Shouldn’t our stories look similar to Joseph’s too, or do we really not believe that God is greater?
We know that God has plans for you that are greater than you are! That He dreams of eternity with you, your friends, and your family! He provided a way for you through Jesus! He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort us. Have you fallen asleep in the middle of your story, before you were able to see God use you in a GREATER way? Leave the popcorn, grab your Bibles, and get back in the story!