Have you ever felt stuck?
I mean really stuck. For whatever reason, you found yourself trapped in a life that you knew full and well wasn’t all that you wanted it to be, but felt powerless to change it.
Joseph (from the book of Genesis) may have felt exactly that way. Things couldn’t have gotten much worse for him.
His rotten brothers had sold him as a slave, he had done a fantastic job in an unjust situation, he had resisted the advances of his boss’s wife (though the temptation was relentless) and where had his honorable behavior gotten him? Thrown in jail, that’s where.
As he sat in that jail, we would have thought him entirely justified he had curled up in a ball and given up. What a hopeless situation!
That’s not what Joseph did.
Instead of being consumed by self-pity, Joseph looked around, saw what needed to be done and did it well. And not only that, Joseph noticed the people around him and saw to their needs.
One day, Pharaoh threw his chief baker and cup bearer in the same jail as Joseph. Each of them ended up having prophetic dreams that left them confused and distraught. When Joseph saw their distress, he could have thought, “I’ve got my own problems,” and walked past.
Instead, he cared enough to ask them what was wrong. Then, he solved their problem.
Finally, and this part is really, really important, he looked for a way out of his miserable situation. He made the cup bearer promise to help him get out of that prison.
It took some time, but that faithful service while unjustly imprisoned is what put him in a position to interact with Pharaoh’s servants, his act of kindness to those men put him in a situation to ask for their help, that boldness to ask is what eventually got him out of prison and made him second in command over the entire country of Egypt. This powerful position is what ultimately saved countless lives, including the lives of his own family.
Had Joseph given up or failed to work hard to better his situation (though it seemed hopeless) none of this would have been possible.
When we find ourselves stuck, we would do well to follow Joseph’s example. We should ask: How can I do my best today? Who can I help? What opportunities has God given me to better my situation?
Eventually, we will find that we are unstuck.