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  • Renata Joseph

Waiting for the Cupbearer


I love it when Eddie and I can connect with dear friends over the internet. While it is a hassle to set up zoom calls and accommodate schedules, the effort is always worth it. The phrase "waiting for the cupbearer" comes from one such call.


Yesterday we were catching up with friends who are also on their way to living overseas. Unlike us, Covid's arrival has pushed back their departure. Like us, they are in a season of waiting. Our friend, Murray, starting talking about the story of Joseph from the Bible. In that story, God had promised Joseph an amazing future, but real life looked nothing like those promises.


At one point in Joseph's life, he was falsely accused and sent to prison for years. Joseph, who was innocent, had no recourse but to be faithful to God and wait. He gained the favor of the captain of the guard and was given responsibilities that were not afforded to others. Sitting in a dungeon, all but forgotten by the outside world, I can imagine that God's earlier promises probably seemed like a cruel joke.


Then one day, the pharaoh's cupbearer ended up in prison with Joseph. He too, was innocent and hoping to be freed. While the cupbearer was there, Joseph told him about God and helped interpret his dream; a gift of his. Joseph implored the cupbearer to remember him to the king. The cupbearer was restored to his position in the palace, but forgot to mention Joseph for 2 more years!


Those years in prison were formative for what was to come. They were years spent relying on God, learning how to serve others and administer in the prison. They were not lost years, but I imagine they were lonely. I imagine there were days when it seemed God had changed his mind about His plans for Joseph.


Then, out of the blue, the cupbearer remembered Joseph and told the Pharaoh about him. Almost overnight, Joseph was not only freed from prison, he was set up as administrator of Egypt. All the visions and dreams Joseph had seen as a young boy were suddenly and shockingly taking place.


Our friend, Murray, reminded us that at the right time, a gatekeeper can mention our names to a person of influence and our whole lives can turn on a dime. The dreams we've had to make a difference in the world, the promises from God that we've held onto, can still happen! It's not over until it's over and God isn't in the business of failing His people.


So if you find yourself in a dark place. If your dreams seem further away than ever before, I encourage you to be faithful in the place you find yourself in, waiting for the cupbearer.

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