the husband and i have been reading through genesis lately, and twice now i've come across a little note in my Bible i'd written before - "God does not forget us." and for some reason that little phrase struck me as if a brand new revelation had just been given. of course, it's not a new thought, it's not even a profound thought, but that simple truth has brought me so much comfort the last couple of weeks.
jacob was a hard-working, loyal employee of his father-in-law, laban, for 20 years and he was only ever repaid with false promises and cheated wages... from his own father-in-law! jacob had been robbed by laban multiple times over and the Bible never mentions jacob complaining, not once! he faithfully stuck to his duties through frost-bitten nights and scorching hot days.... again, for 20 years. i can't even go through a week of below-zero temps without complaining! he was faithful until God called him to something new.... and God redeemed all those years of injustice:
"if the God of my father, the God of abraham and the Fear of isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. but God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you."
God does not forget us. through hardship and unfair treatment, God does not forget us.
a few chapters later, that phrase appears next to the point in time when joseph suddenly finds himself in a dungeon, labeled a criminal. prior to this, joseph had big dreams for his future which made him the object of his brothers' jealousy then victim of their betrayal.... sold into slavery, then unexpectedly flourished in his role as slave, only to soon be falsely accused by his master's wife of rape, then imprisoned by the very man that had previously elevated joseph to a trusted position. through it all, he managed to keep his heart focused on God and whatever work He provided.
after he interprets a dream of a fellow inmate, joseph is given a glimmer of hope to be freed only to be forgotten by the inmate, and continues on in the prison for 2 more years.
two. more. years. in prison.
he was forgotten by man, but not by God. at the most opportune time, God orchestrated not only a way out for joseph, but also the fulfillment of dreams He gave him early on in life. like jacob, through all the years of injustice, joseph never lost hope that God had a plan for his affliction:
"you [his brothers] intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."
through betrayal and false accusations, God does not forget us.
even when we've been beat up, forgotten, and accused by enemies, by friends, or even by family, God does not forget us and He is not afar off. He sees and hears and feels all that we're going through. it might take some time for God to bring restoration, but just know that there is a perfect plan of redemption being carefully knit together. trials are inevitable, but they are inevitably for our good.
"... for God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction."
God has not forgotten you, friend, He is right there with you, planning the time of harvest in the land of your affliction.