The first time you experience deja vu. The moment of thinking like an adult about your childhood. Telling someone else that they will understand it when they are older. There are some moments in life that are bizarre. It is like we step outside of ourselves, watch what we are doing, and shake our heads. How did that happen?

Joseph must have felt that way as he stood in the court of one of the most powerful men on earth and listened to him talk about his dreams. As Genesis 39-41 records, it all came back to dreams.

Joseph was sold as a slave to Potiphar. Like Jacob, the projects that young Joseph took on for his new master had flourished, to the point he was put in charge of the whole household. Second in command, despite his slavery in the foreign Egypt. God was still working, even there.

And then Potiphar’s wife started hitting on him, and accused him of mistreating her when he refused to comply and sin against God. He was sent back to the bottom of the barrel, in the prison. But Joseph rose in favor again, working in the prison. And two men from the palace came in with dreams. Joseph interpreted them. The men went back to Pharaoh and nothing came of Joseph’s correct predictions.

Until two long years later. When Pharaoh had dreams, and Joseph was hurriedly washed, shaved, and dressed to meet him. To listen to dreams.

He gave interpretation from God, gave council, and was given the second place in the kingdom. He must have looked back and wondered. He had come so far, in such familiar ways. And he got married and had kids and named them after the hardship and the blessing, the cycles of his life.

The dreams he interpreted came true. At least, the ones for Pharaoh and the other men. So what of his dreams? Of honor among his brothers. Or were they just dead to him, and his new life here? He must have wondered.

Sometimes I think too hard and get dizzy with thoughts. The same challenges and victories I saw before seem to be looming in the distance. But didn’t I come here already? Joseph’s life is an interesting example of how life seems to be a spiral that touches on familiar images over and over again. What everything together? What keeps us from spinning out of control? The architect, God, who sees the beginning and the end.

God, thank You for how You keep working in our lives. Over and over, we come to the same place. Our lives seem to be out of control, then they loop back around and we are awed by what You are doing. Thank You for the plan You are using for my life, and how I can look back and begin to see the patterns of Your plan. It is so hard, yet so good. And rather surreal to look back on. Thank You. Amen.


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