“Joseph is a fruitful vine,
a fruitful vine near a spring,
whose branches climb over a wall.
With bitterness archers attacked him;
they shot at him with hostility.
But his bow remained steady,
his strong arms stayed limber,
because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
because of your father’s God, who helps you,
because of the Almighty, who blesses you
with blessings of the skies above,
blessings of the deep springs below,
blessings of the breast and womb.
Your father’s blessings are greater
than the blessings of the ancient mountains,
than the bounty of the age-old hills.
Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince among his brothers.
- Genesis 49:22-26
You have granted him his heart’s desire
and have not withheld the request of his lips.
You came to greet him with rich blessings
and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
He asked you for life, and you gave it to him—
length of days, for ever and ever.
Through the victories you gave, his glory is great;
you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty.
Surely you have granted him unending blessings
and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord;
through the unfailing love of the Most High
he will not be shaken.
- Psalm 21:2-7
The other day I was feeling low. My wife was sick and in the hospital. She was talking about how we had travelled through all 48 contiguous states, not having gone to Alaska and Hawaii. She talked about all the countries she had lived in, all the time zones, etc. The nurses would just say “Wow! You got around.”
Then my wife would say that it was her husband that kept chasing jobs. During her early life, it was her father chasing work.
I wanted to say that my last job had me going around the world, but my wife did not go with me. We could not afford it. That is what started my lament. I went places without her. I had no desire to go, other than to complete the job, and she would have loved it.
Then, it was as if God were leaning over my shoulder and telling me, “You are pathetic. You have adventures to talk about. You know the nomadic Indian gypsies’ daily routine. You know how to make bricks the way the Israelite slaves made them, because you watched them and took notes. You watched a woman in a cinderblock house with a thatched roof and a dirt floor sweep her home. You wondered, ‘How does she know when she is done sweeping the “dirt” out?’ “
And I got to observe some very interesting cultures along the way.
Sometimes we think of some things as being a struggle, but in looking back, it was an experience that I never thought I would have. Do I want to eat another sea cucumber? No. As the old fellow says, “Been there, done that.” – meaning, since it has already been done, no need to revisit it. But here about ten years later, I think I can still belch and taste it.
And, oh, the people that I have met. Regardless of what politics and religions are out there in the world, they are nice people who try to do the right thing, with their abilities.
We still have a sin nature. We can never be perfect, but with our potential, God can use us to do amazing things.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.