I recently was chatting with a friend who is in a Chapter 40. Not age or stage, but a season of Chapter 40.
In Genesis Chapter 40, Joesph is in prison for a crime he did not commit. The Baker and Cupbearer join him, have seperate dreams and Joseph interprets them.
What is Chapter 40? A Chapter 40 does not mean that you are in prison, but what it does mean is that you are somewhere you did not expect to be, and possibly watching your dreams go through a sifter faster than you can catch them.
Maybe you feel that the Lord revealed something to you, promised something to you, or you expected something He promised to turn out a certain way.
So did Joseph.
He had dreams and visions of ruling over his brothers and being more superior. He was the favorite son, from the favorite wife (Rachel), and his brothers despised him. So much so that they plotted to kill him, but sold him into slavery instead.
I wonder if while he was being driven from his homeland and all he loved, that he felt his dreams and the things he’d been promised blowing away like the sand.
Chapter 40: Fast forward and Joseph becomes high in command In Egypt, but is falsely accused of adultery by his boss’s wife. It is here in prison (Genesis chapter 40) we find our man and perhaps you find yourself.
I know when I have been in Chapter 40 I feel like I might have heard God wrong and am frustrated that what I expected His promises to be were not what I found myself in. Because surely my obedience should not have resulted in this. He promised me X, yet everything seems to be spiraling out of control in the opposite direction.
Many times during a Chapter 40 my conversations with God are: ‘This is not what I signed up for. This is not what You’ve called me to. Did I hear you wrong? Have bad Chinese food? This is what my obedience gets me?’
And so it was with Joseph.
In Genesis 40:14 he even tells his story to the Baker and Cupbearer and advocates on his own behalf. There is still an element of belief in God for Joseph to interpret the dreams of these men. While he interprets the dreams in (hopes) of exchange of his own freedom, Joseph chooses to use dreams that could have been seen as failure in his own life, for God.
You don’t see anything about dreams and Joseph from the time he was with his brothers until now. Had it been me, I might have thought ‘Dreams? Ya, I’ll tell you about dreams, they are worthless. Look where mine got me. Don’t waste your time, or mine.’ But the beauty of Chapter 40, is that there is a Chapter 41.
You may feel as if He’s left you, not met the expectations of what He’d promised, or that you’d heard Him wrong.
I believe that there is a Chapter 41 (and beyond) for everyone: a time when He restores you from the ‘prison’ you find yourself in. A season where He delivers on the dreams He’s promised. A God that has amazing plans in His timing that ensures the dreams and plans He has for you, are not misunderstandings. Can you hear Him? He is rooting for you, cheering for you, and willing you to hang on, while He works His ways out.
If this is you, email me or comment back and I’ll be happy to pray for you during this time.
You are loved.