I was born a 'blue baby'… almost given up for dead!
The umbilical cord had choked me as I entered into this world. My heart was hardly pumping and the heartbeat was slowly fading. The doctor apparently said that only a miracle could save me. The Hospicio Sisters (nuns) went down on their knees and prayed tearfully. My mother and father were too shocked to pray. The whole family on the paternal and maternal side were storming heaven's doors too! It took a whole hour to restore the heart and I was gifted a bonus life. Satan had dropped a catch! The favour of the Lord was upon me!
Sometimes when overwhelming situations try to get me down, I recount this scene at the Hospicio Hospital in Margao, Goa and I say to myself, " You were saved for a reason. Go be a blessing in somebody's life!" But this realisation struck me very late in life. Although I was born a Christian, I began to live a Christian life only 3 years back (2008). All my life I went to church because others were pushing me to go to church! I lived a dual life. In front of my parents and extended family, I was a saint. Outside of that circle, I did a lot of wrong … even hurt people physically as well as emotionally. In that time, I experienced the powers of darkness, practiced Zen, became an atheist but through all that I experienced emptiness, insecurity and a feeling of hopelessness. It was only after I found Christ in a powerful way did I begin to understand what a true Christian love meant! My mother always told me that I was blest and that I would be someone in this world. But most things were going against me in my growing years. At some point in my life I drowned and a muslim friend arrived on the scene just in time to save me. Again, on another dark and rainy night, i went to catch frogs and I fell into a fertilizer well. Again, I came through that ordeal alive! My father had cancer and I had to interrupt my education and start working soon after my graduation. I couldn't understand how I could be blest with all this happening to me, until … I read the story of Joseph!
I can draw many parallels between my own life story and Joseph from Gen 37 (Not just the fact that I'm a dreamer!). Maybe a quick synopsis of that long story will help me share with you a few lessons that I’ve learnt from that story.
Joseph was the beloved 11th son of Jacob. When God showed Joseph through two dreams, who he was destined to be, his brothers including his father were annoyed with him. His brothers were already jealous of their father's love for Joseph. From being thrown into a deep pit by his brothers, to being sold as a slave to Ishmailites and later to Potiphar, from being falsely accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife and being thrown in the prison, Joseph had to wait 13 long years for the dreams to manifest in his life. To be in Egypt at the opportune moment when the Pharaoh wanted someone to interpret his dream. Joseph not only interprets the Pharaoh's dream but also saves Egypt from a catastrophy. Joseph becomes the second most powerful man in Egypt after Pharaoh and is able to forgive and save his own brothers and father!
However, there was a huge gap between the promise and the performance. But the bible tells us that in everything Joseph kept a right attitude and God's favour was not only upon him but even his masters prospered for Joseph's sake!
-From this story, I learnt that there is a difference between reaping what you have sown and being persecuted for doing right. If you are in the right, then you can expect the Blessing of God to flow in your life.
-Joseph’s master Potiphar prospered because of the blessings on Joseph. That means if the blessing of God is upon your life, you take that blessing everywhere you go.
-Another reassuring thing is that the ‘dream/promise’ does not die because bad things happen. We must keep hold of the dream in our hearts.
-Joseph did not allow the obstacles he faced to cause him to question His God and he still believed that God was going to make his dreams come to pass.
-Faith, Patience, Joy, and Peace all four of these contributed to Joseph’s confidence before Pharaoh. If he didn’t have patience he would have given up on God a long time prior to this event and he would have broken his relationship with God. Patience enabled him to endure while he waited. But he did not wait with a bitter spirit. Joseph had a positive attitude and outlook while he waited for his turnaround.
-He had an inner joy that enabled him to keep a smile on his face, even while he was in prison. And he had an inner peace that stabilized him during the years it took for him to get to the point where he stood before Pharaoh. His joy, peace, and patience fuelled his faith in His God and when he finally got before Pharaoh he was ready to step out in faith.
-Joseph was not afraid to take God public: Joseph was standing in front of man that worshipped the sun, but he still took his God public. When you openly declare, by faith, what you believe will happen, before it happens, then you are taking God public. God loves when you believe Him enough to say it in front of others.
-There is nothing too hard for God: Joseph did not know what the dream was about, he did not know any of the specifics, but as far as he was concerned they did not matter. No matter what – Joseph believed that God could handle it.
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD!