Genesis 41:1 “When two full years had passed….”
Joseph had been betrayed by his own family, wrongly accused by his employers, then let down by his fellow prisoners…….and two full years had now passed, during which time Joseph continued to be wrongfully imprisoned. Yet, the surrounding verses in the book of Genesis make it clear that Joseph continued to live an honest, upright life and never wavered in his trust in God.
The story of Joseph has always inspired me, (I wrote previously about Joseph here), but today the verse ‘two full years’ caught my attention. I have never before noticed that there was a two year gap between when Joseph’s ‘friend’ the chief cupbearer, was released from prison and the time when he remembered Joseph’s kindness to him and spoke up on his behalf so that Joseph also was released from prison.
I knew that there was a time lapse, I just didn’t realise that it was as long as two years. It must have felt like a very long time to Joseph, stuck in prison with no letters from home (they thought that he was dead), no emails, no texts, nothing. How hard it must have been for Joseph to keep his faith and trust in God and to continue to believe in God’s plan for his life, but apparently he did.
This week marks two years since we said goodbye to our beloved Leah. There has hardly been a day over this past two years that I haven’t cried and mourned as I yearn for Leah’s presence in our lives. I have struggled at times to believe in God’s plan for my life. The emotional pain has frequently felt overwhelming.
Around this time last year I wrote about the My One Word challenge and said that I had chosen the word HOPE:
I think that HOPE has been a fitting word for 2015. I think that I as a person and that we as a family have made progress in the areas that I had hoped for. Over this past Christmas and New Year, we have had some lovely times together with the people that we love, always being mindful of Leah’s absence and the legacy of her beautiful life.
We ‘celebrated’ Leah’s 18th birthday on New Year’s Eve, by lighting eighteen pink heart shaped candles and getting together with friends and family. We planned to light the candles at her grave, but a very strong wind ensured that didn’t happen, so we lit them at our house instead.
For Leah’s anniversary this coming weekend we are hosting Sunday lunch for our large extended family at our house – approximately 45 people. The last time that we hosted a get together for our extended family was for Leah’s baptism. Leah absolutely loved these large family get togethers, so this feels like the right way in which to remember her.
My one word for 2016?
‘Choose this day whom you will serve……but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” Victor E. Frankl (1905-1997, Holocaust survivor)
Leah taught me an acronym for HOPE:
So I thought I would make an acronym for CHOOSE:
I’m CERTAIN that whatever 2016 holds, that God will be with me, giving me grace and strength. Matthew 28:20
We do not grieve as those who have no HOPE. 1 Thessalonians 4:13
When I’m fully committed to something, I try to give it my ONE-HUNDRED-PER-CENT. Colossians 3:23
It’s OKAY to have bad days and to feel like giving up sometimes. Matthew 11:28
Without the SUPPORT of family and friends, I would never have made it this far. Philippians 1:3
Despite all the sadness and the heartbreak, I feel ENCOURAGED that God isn’t finished with me yet! Proverbs 3:5-6