It can take ten thousand years for the light from the most distant stars in our galaxy to reach us.
And if it can take so long for illumination to reach our earth, why are we astonished when we fail to immediately understand the story of our lives?
* * *
Joseph, in the well, abandoned, betrayed.
All his dreams of glory—the sun and moon and eleven stars, all the rival sheaves of corn bowing to him–had come to this.
It made no sense; it seemed utterly meaningless–because the next chapter was yet to be written.
* * *
Which was: Joseph in charge of Potiphar’s household.
The shepherd boy becomes the butler in an Egyptian country house.
Was that the meaning of the well, and the humiliations of slavery at the hands of the hairy Ishmaelites?
Part of it. He was a character in a story someone else was writing. How could he understand it in medias res?
* * *
The dungeon, punishment for righteousness.
“But, Lord, I thought I understood the plot you were writing. Now WHAT are you doing?”
* * *
But the dungeon, you see, was the way to extricate Joseph from a place of limited fruitfulness to a place in which he would exponentially flourish.
The way for the butler of a small manor to meet royalty.
Once again, God blessed Joseph. Once again, he rose to the top.
And once again, apparent failure and humiliation were the means of Joseph’s elevation to an entirely different social, economic and political circle.
Let no one underestimate the creativity of the Master Craftsman of the Universe.
* * *
We cannot understand the story of our lives while we are still living them.
The random plot elements have not yet revealed their significance. They are training; but we do not see for what. They are preparation, but we understand not for what. They seem inexplicable, cruel, oh, so wasteful. It takes the retrospective glance to understand.
* * *
And my story? It has foolishness in it, alas, my foolishness—money, and opportunities and years and talents I have blown. Wrong priorities—time I squandered because I cared what people thought; time I squandered on things that did not really, really matter, even to me.
It has sin in it, my sin, and sins against me. It has injustice in it, injustices committed against me. It has apparent dead ends, self-sabotage, stupidity and heartbreak.
And because a master artist is still working on it, still writing and revising it, it has gold in it, infinite possibilities for redemption.
I do not yet know how God will weave all the plot elements together into an eternal beautiful story, and make all the apparent red herrings and random plot twists work out for good, but I know he will. He’s that smart.
And I trust him.