Hey, y’all! It’s been a while! 🙂 Our summer has been busy with finishing up our school stuff (we homeschool and got a late start last year) as well as with summer fun and trips so I haven’t been able to blog as often as I have wanted. (Not to mention the 18 month old and 7.5 month old making life a little more difficult lately with their current dispositions and dislike of sleep. I try to tell them they will one day regret not being able to take a nap in the middle of the day and sleep all the way through the night, but they don’t listen.) But even in the midst of it all, God has been doing things. He’s been showing me some things I believe He wants me to do with this blog and I’m so excited to share one of those things with you today.
Recently, I was reading the story of Joseph in my quiet time and I was struck by something. I’ve grown up hearing Joseph’s story often connected with Romans 8:28.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28, NASB
I’ve heard thoughts shared and messages preached on how things worked out for Joseph’s good, the emphasis being on “for Joseph’s good.” And it most definitely was. But as I read recently, I was reminded that it was for so much more than that. It was for an even bigger good, for the good of an entire group of people, and ultimately even for my good today. Joseph got to reap the benefits of God being a good God and working things out for the good of all those who love God and are called according to His purpose, but it his story wasn’t just for him.
The Amplified Bible words the verse like this—
“We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.” Romans 8:28, AMPC (Emphasis added by me.)
All our stories are fitting into a bigger plan for more than just our own good.
As I continued to read Joseph’s story, I came to the point where he is in prison and he interprets the cupbearer’s dream. At the end of the interpretation, Joseph begs that the cupbearer would remember him when he leaves and is back in favor with Pharaoh, that the cupbearer would mention him so that he could be released from prison where he was being held on false accusations. But the cupbearer left prison, having regained his place among Pharaoh’s servants, and promptly forgot about Joseph. At this point, I’m thinking how do you forget something like that—having a strange dream, someone interpreting it for you, and then that interpretation coming true?! In that moment though, I saw God saying, “It’s not quite time for that yet, my son. Just a little longer you have to go through this. I don’t have everything in place just yet, but this waiting will be for good when I do.” (Let me encourage here you that if you’re going through a season where you’re struggling, where you feel like you’re waiting on God to do something, He is already doing something and the struggle and the wait you are going through is not without purpose.)
There was a reason the cupbearer forgot about Joseph, part of it being that the time was not yet right for Joseph to be brought before Pharaoh.
God sees the bigger picture, but more than that he IS the bigger picture. It’s about Him, not us. It’s about His story, not ours. It’s about His plan, not ours. It is about good being worked out from evil, but not just for us. For a bigger picture and a bigger plan. Each step God maneuvered into place and timed just right to magnify Himself and His kingdom. It was for more than Joseph’s good—it was for Israel’s good, for our good, and for God to be glorified in it all. It was necessary for Joseph to endure a little longer for a bigger good, a bigger picture that would lead to Joseph’s position in Egypt, and from there to provision for God’s chosen people, and then on to people hearing the story and knowing the power of God. Whatever you may be going through, God has a purpose in it. He has a story to tell through it that will point others to Him.
Our stories are for more than just us. They’re for us to share with others so God gets the glory and so that others may be encouraged. Our stories are a part of a bigger picture and they’re meant to be told.
I say all of that to lead to this—over the past couple of months, God has been prompting me to do something with my blog. The first prompting came back at the beginning of June, when I was talking with a friend, and as I talked with her, I kept having this thought, “Ask her to do a guest post on your blog.” My first reaction was to ignore it. My next reaction was to argue and list all the reasons why I shouldn’t—“Why would I do that? She’ll probably think I’m crazy. I don’t even have that many followers.” And then, my final reaction was to surrender to that still, small voice in obedience and ask my friend that question. Since that time, God has been growing the idea in me and laying more people on my heart to ask that same question. I’ve come to realize a new calling from God for my blog to be a place for people to give voice to their stories so that others can see Him at work and be encouraged, and so that others can see that their stories are a part of a bigger story and that we are meant to share our stories for God’s glory.
“Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples.” Psalm 96:3, AMPC
“He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious, merciful, and full of loving compassion.” Psalm 111:4, AMPC
“I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth (recount and tell aloud) all Your marvelous works and wonderful deeds!” Psalm 9:1, AMPC
Soon, I hope to start having guest posts from people God has laid on my heart. We need to hear each other’s stories. All our stories are pieces and parts of a bigger story that needs to be told. If we don’t share our stories with each other, we don’t get to see how God’s hand is in it all, how He’s over it all, how He’s been there all along. And my prayer is that these stories will speak to you where you’re at.
I’m not completely sure what the execution of this new calling will look like. Although I’ve had God lay some people on my heart to ask and I’ve asked them, I don’t have a schedule set in place. I don’t know when the first guest post will happen or what the time frame in between guest posts will be like. I’m waiting on further direction from the Lord in regards to that, but I’m so excited to begin doing this and I wanted to share it with you. (I do plan to still have my regular posts as well as my bookish posts mixed in amongst the guest posts.)
So be looking soon (well, at least, in the not too distant future, hopefully) for a new category to be created along the top of my blog for these guest posts—Name coming soon!
Just a quick heads up before I go—over the next month or so, there are going to be a lot of bookish posts because it seems as if nearly every author I review for has a book coming out in September or October. I would love to be able to sprinkle in some other posts to balance things out, but with us starting school back up soon and my two youngest being little stinkers, I don’t know that that will happen.