‘Thirteen years of slavery and imprisonment came to an abrupt end. Joseph was whipped out of prison and into Pharaoh’s presence. It was not just the surroundings, however , that had changed. The once brash teenager who had so riled his family had become the essence of tact and wisdom. The vale of tears had proved to be the valley of soul-making, and at last it becomes apparent why Joseph had been allowed to suffer in this way. God’s control of events became evident in his sending the smug Pharaoh two disconcerting dreams. It became clearer still when the cupbearer suggested that Pharaoh should ask Joseph to interpret them and he said,

 ‘God will give Pharaoh the answer’ 41.16.

 Then finally Pharaoh appointed Joseph his deputy with the words,

‘Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God? v.38′

IVP New Bible Commentary

During those thirteen years there were surely many times when Joseph must have asked the question WHY? The question that many, if not all of us, have asked in times of bereavement, illness, redundancy, issues in Church and in the present situation, Covid.

The answer to that heartfelt question may not  be immediately apparent – after all it was years before Joseph saw it – but we can be assured that if The Lord is with us then there is an answer.

Then we need to pause and remember that it will be an answer that will serve the great purposes of God and will be for our good although that may be hard to see when we are in the thick of the problem.

May we never forget the great promise of Romans 8.28

In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

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