Stuck in My Own Prison

sml prison

               Ever feel like life is just passing you by but you’re stuck in the same place you’ve been in for some time?? I look at my friends getting married, having babies, and those babies growing up and I think, “So much has happened since I’ve been disabled. So many life events…and my events are getting through another doctor’s visit.”

              I feel like life is flying by before my eyes and I’m stuck in the same place just fighting to get my body through another day. This is especially hard for me cause I’m such a, “go-getter.” I’ve been the type that always overbooked myself and whenever I’d achieve 1 goal, I would add 10 more I wanted to accomplish.

             I think a lot of us feel like we are watching life flash by before our eyes and we are in the same place trying to figure out what we are supposed to be doing. Life hasn’t turned out the way we planned. We were thrown a bunch of curveballs that took us to places we never thought we’d be, or kept us in places we didn’t plan to stay…

            So what do we do?? Well as they say we can’t control the cards we are dealt, but we can control how we play them. Maybe your life is totally different then you had imagined. But it’s not different than God had imagined…

              He knew the day you were born all of the curveballs life would throw you. He knew all the trials, and all the joys. I’m not saying God caused the trials, just that He knew they would come and He had a plan on how to use them, and how to grow you through them.

            A lot of us are currently “stuck in our own prisons.” What I mean is that we are in a difficult situation of life, and we can’t get out of it. I don’t know what yours is, but mine is being trapped, sick in bed for almost 2 years. I’m “stuck” in a wheelchair. I suffer from severe nerve pain throughout my entire body every day, and I can’t do anything to get out of it. Right now my eyes are shut as I type this article because my vision is so poor that merely looking at a computer screen will blur my vision for the rest of the day and give me a migraine.

            Though I may feel “stuck” in a disabled body, I am realizing that I can look at this as being “stuck” or I can see that I have an “opportunity” before me to go deeper with the Lord, to become a better person, and to learn the true meaning of “surrendering” to God.

 

In the bible Joseph also found himself stuck in his own prison…though his was an actual prison…  

              Joseph was 1 of 12 sons in His Jewish family. He probably dreamed he would have a Jewish family of his own, stay in his tribe, and run the family business. He probably never thought that his own brothers would sell him into slavery, that he’d be taken to a foreign land far from anyone he knew, and he’d be thrown into prison for something he didn’t do. But I bet of all those surprises he never would’ve imagined that God would use it all to make him the “prince” of Egypt.. Or the 2nd in command of the largest empire on earth at the time!!!

              He probably felt like life was passing him by as he worked away his days in slavery or survived another day in prison. But in those times God was using him to interpret dreams and preparing him to “save” Egypt when a great famine hit.

              For 13 years Joseph was in slavery and then in prison. In those 13 years we do not find Joseph sulking, we do not find him angry with God. Maybe he experienced those things, but not enough for the bible to mention it. What we do find is that wherever Joseph went and whatever happened to him, he served God with all his heart.

              After Joseph’s own brothers betrayed him and sold him as a slave, he remained faithful to God. After he was falsely accused and thrown into prison, he stayed faithful to God. It didn’t matter what happened to him, he wasn’t going to let anything turn him away from the Lord. Not only was Joseph faithful to God, but God was faithful to Joseph and poured favor on him in slavery and in prison. Genesis 39:21 But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.

               It’s interesting that God gives Joseph favor in all of the trials he faced, yet God did NOT change his situation. God did not free Joseph from slavery nor did God spare him from prison. I believe God used those things to grow Joseph and teach Him. I believe God used those years to mold and prepare Joseph to become the “vice president” of Egypt.

              Without those trials, I don’t think Joseph would have had the same wisdom he had to rule the land. These trials were Joseph’s own “bible college.” Your prison, too, can be your own bible college… no need to pay thousands of dollars for school ;)… just press into the Lord in your darkest times and you will learn lessons deeper than you can learn anywhere else.

             Joseph recognized that God brought something wonderful out of his hardest times.In Genesis 50:20, Joseph says to his brothers who betrayed him… “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

             Wow, the depth of character he had to say something like that!! I think that depth of character came from remaining faithful to God through hardships.

             So are we going to let the prisons we’re facing make us or break us?? Are we going to seek the Lord and learn every lesson we can through our trials, or are we going to fall into depression cause things didn’t turn out the way we planned??

            Jesus said that we are to love our enemies. He said that loving those who love you is easy, that even unbelievers do that. But loving your enemies is hard, and we are commanded to do that. (Matthew 5:43) I kinda think of circumstances the same way. Anybody can be nice and joyful when circumstances of life are good, but we as believers should still be kind and full of joy when circumstances go wrong and we are walking through our own prisons.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

             You never know, God just might be preparing you to be the next “Ruler of Egypt.” 🙂

 

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6 Responses to Stuck in My Own Prison

  1. Pingback: Stuck in My Own Prison | this woman shares

  2. Patti Hermes says:

    I needed this today. Thank you.

  3. Heather Tilghman says:

    You always seem to write something that applies to me !!!! Thank you for being such a blessing !!!!!!!!

  4. Sally Parkman says:

    Great insight, Rachel. I needed to be reminded
    of this!

  5. Marlena says:

    You are truly such an inspiration, I admire your faith and your perspective. It is amazing how your story is changing my life. Thank you for being so open and willing to share!

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