Note: This is an important blog for all who do ministry, whether you are lifers or volunteers.
But, first a familiar story. Young Joseph had a couple of dreams. The dreams were from God. Like many dreamers, in his youthful enthusiasm, Joseph offended friends and family as he arrogantly promoted his dream.
Because of the dream, Joseph’s brothers hated him. They threatened to kill him. But, in an act of brotherly compassion, they decided to spare his life and sell him into slavery instead. His Egyptian slave-master unjustly threw him in prison.
Joseph’s dream had officially become a nightmare.
What do you do when The Dream feels like a nightmare? Here’s what Joseph did: he helped others live their dreams, while he waited on his.
The story continues. While in prison, Joseph’s cellmates had dreams. He interpreted their dreams, with one request: “when all goes well with you, REMEMBER ME and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.” (Gen 40:14) Sounds like a reasonable request to me.
The last verse in Genesis 40 is all too familiar for those of us in ministry. “The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.” (Gen 40:23) Have you ever been forgotten by those you serve? If you have been in ministry more than two weeks, you have.
Two years later, Pharaoh has a couple of dreams (the third set of double dreams that mark Joseph’s life). Pharaoh is distraught and seeks an interpretation. Chief Cupbearer suddenly remembers his former cellmate who helped his dream become reality. Chief finally puts in a good word for Joseph. Pharaoh summons Joseph and the rest is history. But Joseph had to endure two extra years of prison because he was forgotten by the man he had helped.
What should we do when we help people in their time of need, and they forget us in our time of need? GET OVER IT, GET YOUR EYES ON JESUS, AND KEEP MINISTERING!