Today, two things stood out to me.
Firstly, as I drove into my driveway, two butterflies circling each other flew before my car. My mind was thrown back in time to when the world changed in 2020 with our first lockdown. It was a time of uncertainty for all, and we didn’t really understand what was happening, but at the same time, our town was taken over by migrating butterflies. These were a beautiful reminder that, while the caterpillar is enclosed within the chrysalis, it is becoming something new, and when released, creates a beautiful landscape of colour as we were seeing when a kaleidoscope of butterflies coloured our vision.
Secondly, I watched as an eagle began to ascend into the skies just before our home above the valley. I watched as the smaller birds tried to peck at it and pull it down at a certain height, and I watched as the eagle surpassed their reach and soared higher and higher with barely a movement of its wings until it flew into the sun where I could no longer see it.
Both the butterflies and the eagle had major obstacles to overcome. For the butterfly, the chrysalis represents a dark place, isolated and alone. But during the dark days of the chrysalis, greater things are happening, and the glory of the butterfly is eventually released in all its beauty.
For the eagle to overcome its adversaries, it had to rise above them, and when the eagle reached the great heights, the air space where it had been attacked was so far away, it was just a distant memory.
I’ve recently been reading about Joseph in Genesis chapter 39. You probably know the story, but at this stage, he had been sold by his brothers and was now living in the household of an Egyptian named Potiphar. Joseph had been through some very dark days and his brothers led his own father to believe that he was dead. But God had not abandoned Joseph, quite the opposite.
The Lord was with him so much that it was apparent to Potiphar that the favour of the Lord was upon Joseph. God made Joseph successful in everything he did, and he was eventually put in charge of Potiphar’s whole household. Verse four tells us that Potiphar entrusted to Joseph’s care everything he owned.
‘From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the LORD was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field.’ (Genesis chapter 39 verse 5)
Enter more obstacles
Just when things were settling down for Joseph, along comes Potiphar’s wife who falsely accuses Joseph, landing him in prison. But God did not abandon him in prison either. Verses 20-21 tell us:
‘But while Joseph was there in the prison, the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warden.’
Once again, Joseph was held in such high esteem that the prison warden put Joseph (a prisoner) in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. (verse 22)
‘The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.’ (Genesis chapter 39 verse 23)
Thriving in the midst of obstacles
It didn’t matter where Joseph was or what circumstances he was in—whether exalted in the palace or in the depths of a prison—God NEVER abandoned him. Joseph didn’t just survive—he thrived!
He was given as much favour in the prison as he was in the household. Eventually, he would wear the signet ring of Pharoah and be trusted with the whole land of Egypt. Joseph’s relationship with God and his obedience to Him would later save the people from starvation during the seven-year famine.
Hope for the future
There are many who feel locked up in this time; there are many who are physically locked up in this time. It may seem like the way out of these dark days is far beyond the reach of what can be conceived. I’m sure Joseph felt like this many times, however, while in the dark places, God was creating something beautiful—just like the butterflies, and the impact would be powerful.
With our eyes on Jesus, we will one day see Him in the clouds when He comes to gather us. And as we reign for a thousand years in the land that God is giving us (Revelation chapter 20 verses 1-5), the dark days will be a very distant memory as with the eagle, in fact, they will be remembered no more.
In the meantime, seek His face, read His words, soak it in and find out what God wants you to do here and now to bring hope to a hurting world.
For this is the hope to come when God creates a new heaven and earth:
‘But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create,
For I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy.
I will rejoice over Jerusalem
And take delight in my people;
The sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.
Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days,
or an old man who does not live out his years;
the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child;
the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.
They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat.
For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people;
my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands.
They will not labour in vain, nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune;
for they will be a people blessed by the LORD, they and their descendants with them.’
(Isaiah chapter 65 verses 18-23)
As published on Christian Today Australia, September 2021
©Rebecca Moore 2021