Genesis 41:16 “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”
Joseph sometimes seems so close to perfect that it’s hard to remember what an insufferable kid brother he was growing up, so much so that some of his brothers were actually murderous toward him. He’s a reminder that God can do marvelous things in and through people who don’t seem to have that potential, humanly speaking. Whatever his faults, his biggest redeeming characteristic was his full dependence on God. Actually we are all totally dependent on God in His mercy and grace, but most of us don’t recognize that fact as consistently as Joseph did. It was that recognition that gave him such poise under pressure. It’s interesting to imagine what it was like to have been called out of prison to an audience with Pharaoh, when a momentary displeasure could bring a death sentence. At least those who went to get him let him get properly cleaned up! Even under such intense pressure his focus was on God, and he didn’t hesitate to say so. The story is a familiar one to anyone who ever went to Sunday School as a child, but it is one we do well to remember and emulate.
I find that I am most aware of my dependence on God in counseling situations, and I acknowledge that, particularly as I pray for people. I have learned the hard way that my wisdom, even when gained from years of experience, isn’t sufficient to solve people’s problems. The biggest point of wisdom I’ve gained is that I’m not smart, God is! I have been learning better how to give God the glory for what He does through me, just as Joseph did here. When you think about it, this was something of a “counseling” situation for Joseph, and he submitted to God beautifully and reaped bountiful rewards. I’m not so worried about rewards, but I do want to be available to God for His use, and I do want the glory to go to Him.
Father, it really is remarkable how You use such frail, foolish vessels as we are, but thank You. Thank You for the incredible privilege of speaking Your words and acting as Your instrument. My continual prayer is that Your name be acknowledged as holy and Your kingdom come as Your will is done in and through me, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!