Now Joseph [had been in Egypt thirteen years and] was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Joseph departed from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt [performing his duties]. Genesis 41:46 (AMP)
Before one is promoted by the Lord, what precedes this is years of anonymity. I love to called them the dark years, where one is hidden, like a seed buried in the dirt to germinate or, a new embryo conceived and slowly developing in the darkness of the womb. This a very important season in a person’s life. It is where God does His best work, where character is developed and refined, where stewardship is instilled and if one is interested, this where can grow in intimacy with the Lord.
I must admit, I am in this season in my life, sometimes it feels like forever, but feelings are fickle and what is important is that you trust the Lord. Believe that He has a good plan for your life and not bad ones. To give you a hope and a future. Just trust Him, its always darkest before dawn.
Joseph was in Egypt for thirteen years these were his hidden years. He was away from his father and the rest of his family. He was sold as a slave and later thrown into prison for something he didn’t commit. Surely his experience seemed to be harsh, but these were vital years preparing him for the throne to be second in command after Pharaoh.
This season of anonymity is a prerequisite for everyone who God would use for His glory. We have to be obedient and stay planted. There are many examples of great people who went through this stage, from Moses who spent 40 years in the desert, to King David who spent years hiding in caves with distressed men because King Saul was hunting him down, lastly King Jesus Christ was hidden for 29 years. Joseph, David and King Jesus, all began their calling while at 30 years old. The number thirty denotes that one is mature to begin their ministry or calling.
It is prudent to conclude anonymity develops our character so that we are able to become mature to possess the destiny God has in store for us. When Joseph was promoted, he stood before Pharaoh, immediately after he left the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt performing his duties. Joseph wasted no time, he had a mission in mind, to manage all resources to have more than enough during the coming drought.
Joseph moved with purpose, He had a goal. His goal was to gather all the [surplus] food of the seven [good] years in the land of Egypt and stored [enormous quantities of] the food in the cities. He stored away in every city the food [collected] from its own surrounding fields. Thus Joseph gathered and stored up grain in great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped counting it, for it could not be measured (Genesis 41:48-49). He reminds me of the secret of the axe. King Solomon stated it like this-
If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength; but wisdom [to sharpen the axe] helps him succeed [with less effort].
The secret is that if you use an axe with a dull edge, the energy you expend and the power you apply will be spread out and dissipated over a dull edge. The axe becomes inefficient and ineffective. You need to put in more time, energy, or force to accomplish the same amount of work. On the other hand, if the axe’s edge is sharp, it will focus and concentrate your energy and power. Therefore it will take less time, energy, and force to accomplish more. A dull edge is one at is less focused. It doesn’t converge to single point.
The same with your life. If your life isn’t focused, if your life doesn’t have an aim your focused on, if it’s spread out in many directions or with unclear purpose, then it will have a dull edge. But if you apply to your life the secret of the axe, if you sharpen your life and have a clear focus and aim. Then you need to bring everything in your life into harmony with that focus and aim, so that everything you do is consistent with that aim and converges to that focus. Then your life will have a sharp edge. Then your life will become powerful. Joseph understood this principle, and this lead him to become a powerful man.
• Anonymity develops our character so that we are able to become mature to possess the destiny God has in store for us. Like a seed buried in the dirt to germinate, under the soil its roots grow deep down into the earth, so that it can support the weight of the tree once it grows vertically.
• Ecclesiastes 10:10