Posted by: Terry | December 22, 2011

Anticipation is greater than realization

“Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt.” (Gen. 39.1 NIV)

Things looked promising for Joseph, at 17 his father was grooming him to take over as general manager. He had confirmation in the coat he wore, the responsibilities he was given, and the dreams he dreamed. Tomorrow looked bright.

Then it all fell apart that day in Dothan; roughed up, stripped of his coat, sold to a caravan on the way to Egypt. No one to help, no way to get word to dad, life took a major change of direction. This was not at all what he anticipated just a day before.

Now 2 months later Joseph is in Egypt, most likely bound, standing before the Captain of the Guard as a slave for sale. This was not what he anticipated just a few months before when his father sent him on a trip to check on the business.

“All things that are, Are with more spirit chased than all enjoyed.” (The Merchant of Venice, Act II, Scene vi, Lines 13-14) Or as my father put it “Anticipation is greater than realization.” Things do not turn out the way we planned them and disappointment is all too common.

Joseph would understand what you are going through today, he could relate to having family members let you down, to false accusations, and frustrated plans. He knew first hand what uncertainty, fear, and loneliness are like. Yet “The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered…” (Gen 39.3 NIV)

Joseph never gave up on God, he must have clung to what he had been taught, the dreams that God gave him – faith in God. As a result God blessed him and he prospered where he was.

Abraham Lincoln said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” True now, true in the 1800’s, and true in Egypt in 2000BC. Joseph made a choice to do what was right, to make the best of where he was. He acted in faith that when nothing seemes to be working,God is.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46.1 NIV)



  1. Yes, people disappoint us but God is always faithful.

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