At the end of Jacob’s life, he describes his son, Joseph as:
““A fruitful bough (a main branch of the vine), A fruitful bough by a spring (a well, a fountain); Its branches run over the wall [influencing others].” Genesis 49:22
Joseph had some bad breaks – sold into slavery, falsely imprisoned – but he did not allow any of that to change who he was. He became a fruitful vine, influencing others. Everywhere he went, he prospered.
We all have had some bad break, some worse than others. But we get to choose to live in the pain or prosper in the pain. We get to choose to blame others or forgive others. We get to chose to cry, “woe is me” or proclaim “Blessed am I”.
How does one prosper in their pain?
1. The Bible says, Although Joe was brutality attacked, he stood his ground. He stood on the promise he had been given as young teen.
2. He relied on the All-Powerful One. He recognized God prospered him when he was with Potiphar, sustained him in prison. God was his help and if God was for him, no one could be against him.
3. He focused more on the fruit than the planting. The bad things that have happened to us, if we allow them, can be our greatest teacher. It was in the middle of the storm I learned to pray, to worship, to trust. It was in the tough times, God became personal. It was in my failures I learned true love, true forgiveness. It was being rejected that taught me how to accept, delayed promises taught me perseverance, lack taught me how to give. Your story may not be pretty, but concentrate more on the fruit that is gushing forward today than the unfairness of your past.
I pray we all become the strong branch, reaching over our walls and influencing others.