The Upside of Down

For those of you who are well versed, pun intended, with Bible stories, this may not be a new thought, but I bet it will be a timely reminder regardless.

Periodically, I go back to read the story of Joseph for inspiration and encouragement. In reading the story again recently, while I had seen this phrase before, it jumped off the page and grabbed me by the throat.

Genesis 40:23-41:1a… The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. When two full years had passed

When you size up Joseph’s life to this point, the word “rollercoaster” seems appropriate—the favored, good life at dad’s house (up), betrayed and abandoned by his brothers then sold as a slave (down), put in charge of an official’s home and staff (up), false accusation and prison (down). Then come these verses … forgotten for 2 years. That little phrase in the verse sums up 2 full years of Joseph’s life. It’s easy to miss that, but we can’t!

We see and know inside chapter 41 that Joseph is placed in charge of Egypt. Major up! Then he finds, forgives, and is reunited with his family. Added up.

It is likely about half of us reading this are on the down part of the ride, while about half are on the up. Regardless of where you are, what we learn about life is to be grateful when the ups come, because a down is inevitably cycling around, but when we are down, there is an up in our future somewhere.

But the overriding truth we see in Joseph’s story—and we can also know and trust in our own—is that whether up or down, and for how long, God is ever-present through it all. Even when the downs make us feel like He is nowhere in sight, He is there, preparing and working on us, and around us, for the next up.

And, in the end, for those who know Him, it is a once-and-for-all final UP!

… because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did. —Genesis 39:23b

Whether prison or palace, evidently Joseph was consistent in trusting and following God. That up attitude, even in the down days, brought him blessing and favor when everyone else forgot he existed.

Today, take comfort in knowing Someone sees you, hasn’t forgotten you, and knows exactly where UP is.

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