“Then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more.”Genesis 37:5
Living a life of purpose often begins with having a dream. Dreams are the fuel that drives us to pursue God’s will and realize our destiny. But what happens when your dream is detoured and seems lost on the road to nowhere? The life of Joseph provides a textbook example of what it means to embrace the detour!
One of twelve sons, Joseph was a dreamer. And, like most dreamers, Joseph loved to share his dreams with others, especially with his brothers. Genesis 37:5-8 tells us that even when his dream included telling his brothers he would one day rule over them, Joseph didn’t hold back.
Joseph’s words angered and enraged his brothers so much that they sold him to Egyptian slave traders. But, being sold into slavery was only the beginning of Joseph’s trials.
During his time in Egypt, Joseph was arrested for a crime he didn’t commit and found himself in an Egyptian prison. Nothing was working out according to plan. His dreams had been detoured…or so he thought. God would use Joseph’s circumstances to ultimately shape his life, as well as the lives of his entire family. By embracing his detour, Joseph realized his destiny.
Embracing his detour meant three things:
First, it meant giving his best in all responsibilities. Genesis 39: 2-6; 21-23 tells us how God was with Joseph because of the excellence he demonstrated in the responsibilities he was given. Even in captivity, Joseph delivered excellence in all he was asked to do!
Next, embracing his detour also meant maintaining his character and remaining pure before God regardless of pressure or circumstances. Genesis 39:6 tells us that “Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.” Genesis 39:7-10 tells us that Joseph’s good looks brought him the attention of a married woman—his boss’ wife! Even when faced with great temptation, Joseph refused to give in to temptation and maintained his character and purity.
Finally, embracing his detour meant forgiving those who wronged him, even when he didn’t have to (Genesis 50:18-21).
It takes courage to give your best, maintain your character, and forgive those who wrong you. It takes courage to trust God’s detours are the pathway to experiencing God’s best. I’m sure Joseph doubted, but he held fast. He remained obedient. He trusted God. And he had courage to act in faith, even when circumstances seemed hopeless.
Embracing your detour allows you to realize your dreams and experience God’s will for your life.