A new beginning
STREETLIFE - Nigel Paul Villarete (The Freeman) - January 1, 2019 - 12:00am

Most of us know the story of Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob (whom God later named as Israel), the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham. It was to Abraham that God promised that through his seed, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed - one of the first prophecies concerning Jesus, whose birth we celebrated last week. Joseph is often called as “the dreamer” because as a young man, he dreamt he will become an important person someday, more than his parents and brothers, to their consternation. So angry were the other brothers that they sold him as a slave to a caravan going to Egypt (telling their father that his favorite son had been devoured by a wild beast).

Even as a slave, Joseph did well, that he was made overseer by his master, Potiphar. But because he was devoted to God, he resisted the sexual advances of Potiphar’s wife, and so ended up in jail. Still, he remained faithful to God, and continued interpreting dreams, until finally, when he successfully interpreted two of Pharaoh’s dreams, he was released and was appointed governor of the whole of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself, fulfilling his boyhood dreams.

But what of those long years? Oftentimes we miss the reality that Joseph did suffer as a slave and prisoner for a long time. He was 17 when he was sold off into Egypt and was already 30 when he became governor. That’s 13 long years of suffering and hoping for the deliverance from God. Thirteen years makes thousands of days when he wakes up a slave and a prisoner, keeping his faith in God who promised his great-grandfather that he will be the father of a great nation and through whose seed the world will be blessed.

I’m sure his resolve was tested to falter, but we surely admire such great a faith. In the depths of prison, you wake up each morning hoping it would be the day a miracle would happen. And each night ends and nothing came but you sleep with hope in the next morning. For 13 years. But to Joseph, there is always hope. He knows, he believes – a new beginning will come. The next day, the next year, it doesn’t matter. It will come.

We’re not Joseph but we have our hopes and dreams, too. And each coming New Year, we tend to emphasize those with resolutions. Where we failed is maybe where we placed our trust in. For Joseph, he believed in the one true God, not in himself or his abilities, but by faith on God’s promises. Maybe we should do the same thing by knowing God more through reading the Scriptures. That’s a good New Years’ resolution as any, but far more rewarding. Reading the Bible in year needs only 15 minutes each day - less than what many of us spend on FB or texting. Joseph hoped for a new beginning and God gave it to him. A new beginning awaits us too when we read his words.

God’s goodness and abundance always abounds. Happy New Year to all.

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