“Meanwhile, the Midianite sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharoah’s officials, the captain of the guard.” Genesis 37:36

Genesis 37:36 may be one of the most powerful little verses in Genesis…

Seventeen year old Joseph had just been sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. They covered up their crime by smearing goats blood on Joseph’s robe and delivered it to their father, Jacob. “We found this,” they told him, “Examine it to see whether it is your son’t robe.”

“He recognized it and said, ‘It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.’” (Genesis 37:31-33)

Meanwhile… as Jacob mourned the supposed death of his favorite son, Joseph was enduring the most difficult situation of his young life. (spoiler alert: and it will get much worse!)

Meanwhile… God was orchestrating one of the most amazing series of miracles in the Old Testament. Joseph would eventually become the second most powerful person in all of Egypt. Not only that, but he was being put into position to save the entire nation of Israel from starvation during the impending deadly drought.

But first… Joseph was sold into slavery to Potiphar. Then he was thrown into prison, after Potiphar’s wife lied about him.

Meanwhile… Joseph remained in prison for two full years.

Two. Long. Years.

First slavery and then prison. Both undeserved. Both unfair. Years of unwarranted trials, suffering, and toil.

But Joseph did not spend those years wallowing in self-pity. Instead he excelled in both places. When Potiphar observed Joseph’s hard work ethic, and that “the LORD was with him and… gave him success in everything he did,” he put Joseph in charge of his entire household. (39:3)

The same thing happened when he was thrown into prison, innocent of the crime he was accused of. The prison warden put Joseph in charge of the entire prison. He “paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.” (39:23)

Joseph found favor everywhere he went, regardless of the difficult circumstances. That sort of thing just doesn’t happen to cranky chronic bellyachers! He worked hard and trusted in God. God didn’t keep Joseph from suffering. But He walked with Joseph through it and gave him success in everything he did. God gave Joseph success despite the pain.

Joseph ended up the second richest, most powerful man in all of Egypt. He ended up blessed beyond his wildest imaginations!

But during those long difficult times, during his “meanwhile” times, he had no idea God was intending to bless him in these ways. He had no idea God would turn his time of suffering into such amazing gifts.

Many of us are also walking through “meanwhile” times… illnesses, broken relationships, disappointments, financial struggles, or other trials. Many of us feel we are in holding patterns, waiting for answers and breakthroughs. How tempting it is to feel sorry for ourselves, to blame God and give up. The enemy would have us believe that God is far away from us during times like this. The enemy whispers into our minds that God must not care about us to let us suffer so.

Don’t believe the lies.

God is always right there walking through it with us, ready to bless us despite the pain, if we will only trust Him.

Whatever difficult situation you are enduring, no matter what hardship is staring you in the face, rest assured that this is only a “meanwhile.” Believe that God is putting the pieces into place for miracles in your life as well… because He is!