Overheard at Fitch’s store: “If life is a bowl of cherries, then I got stuck with the pits.”
I’m not sure if the ending of the phrase is the original, but it struck a chord with me. It ranks in there with, “I always seem to get the short end of the stick,” or, “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.” I cogitated on the idea that sometimes we seem to be the recipient of more than our share of trouble. Then an intriguing thought came to mind. When God is in charge of your life, the ‘pits’ may not be what they seem to be. They could contain the embryos of new life.
The Book of Genesis relates the amazing story of Joseph. Joseph was the 11th of the 12 sons of Jacob. Because of their father’s perceived favoritism for Joseph and Joseph’s seemingly arrogant attitude, the brothers hated him. When he was seventeen years old, they planned to kill him, but the oldest brother, Reuben, restrained them. “And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him; and they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it” (Genesis 37:23-24, KJV). If ever a person literally got stuck with the ‘pits’, it was Joseph.
But, the Biblical account teaches us that if God is directing our lives, everything will ultimately work to our benefit. The Genesis story tell us, “Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt” (Genesis 37:28).
Now, as Paul Harvey would say, here is ‘the rest of the story”. Joseph became a slave and experienced many other ‘pit’-like incidents. Prison and jail cells were often his home. However, his faith in God’s providential care did not waiver. Eventually, God’s plan began to unfold. It always does! God’s plan propelled Joseph from the pit to the palace. At 35 years old, he rose in position to be second only to Pharaoh, the most powerful man on earth. “And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt” (Genesis 41:41).
A great famine struck Egypt and all of the surrounding countries. Because of Joseph’s God-given wisdom, Egypt became the ‘bread basket’ for that part of the world. Joseph was in charge of all governmental affairs. His family, father, and brothers were forced to come to Egypt to survive. When his family came to Joseph seeking help, they didn’t recognize him. In kindness, he dealt with them. When Joseph finally revealed his identity to his frightened kinsmen, he let them know he had forgiven them. Then he said, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” (Genesis 50:20, NKJV).
Joseph had been dealt a bad hand, but he didn’t fold. He trusted God when things looked bleak. God rewarded his patience and trust. Those things which seemed evil against him, God turned into good. The pits became a ‘bowl of cherries’.
“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:6). The Lord can take you from the pit to the palace of His will.
~ Brother Roy