“Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him” (Ps. 105:19, NKJV).
Until the time. What all goes into that little word, “Until?” “Until” encapsulates the long, long, long wait for our promises from Daddy to come to fruition. “Until the time that his word came to pass…” This verse is describing Joseph’s formational process during the thirteen years that elapsed between God’s promise and God’s fulfillment. “Until” began for him the day he woke up from that first dream depicting his brothers’ sheaves bowing down to his.
From the very start, “Until” didn’t look anything like fulfillment. When Joseph was entreating his hateful brothers for mercy from the bottom of a terrifying pit… “Until” was an ugly, ugly place to be. When vicious slave traders dragged him away in chains from his beloved home and country… “Until” was a cruel, hostile land. When he wept bitter, lonely tears at night on his bed, incalculable miles and borders away from the love he once knew… “Until” enshrouded him with sorrow as if hope were gone forever. When fierce injustice became the payment for his tenacious integrity, and prison seemed to swallow him alive… “Until” only seemed to grow more and more painful by the day.
“Until the time… the word of the Lord tested him.” Every day of every week of every month of every year between promise and fulfillment, Joseph’s dreams from God tested him. They often must have seemed to taunt him. His reality was simply the utter, complete, dramatic opposite of what he had envisioned when he received those dreams. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the enemy was there every day, relentlessly buffeting his emotions, whispering in his ear, “Did God really say…?”
Any of us who have received a transformational, destiny-shaping word from the Lord are going to pass through a process parallel to Joseph’s. God’s promises to us are going to test us. When we receive that word from His heart, we will enter a long, long, long waiting time. During this period, everything is going to look exactly the opposite of what He said. We each will have our own “Until” to push through, for prolonged days and weeks and months and very possibly even years.
If you are in the midst of your own “Until,” Holy Spirit wants to strengthen and encourage your heart today. He wants to remind you that “Until” really does have a finish line. “Until” may seem everlasting, but it’s actually not. Just as “Until” has a beginning, it has an end. For Joseph, “Until” finally did come to an extremely abrupt halt. After years and years of pushing on and on and on and on and on and on and ON, the dizzying moment finally arrived when Pharaoh pulled him out of prison and, in an instant, set him on high. From prisoner to prince, just like that.
Remember, the day before the King of Egypt summoned Joseph from the dungeon, it looked exactly like every other day of “Until.” The week before looked exactly like every other week. The month before looked exactly like every other month. Nothing changing. Nothing looking up. Disappointment after disappointment. There was absolutely no hint, no clue that “Until” was finally about to be over. And then, suddenly, it was.
Dear one, don’t give up. Don’t stop hoping. Don’t throw away your confidence. Don’t let your heart shut down. Hold onto those dreams. One of these days, you are going to wake up, and “Until” will finally be finished. You will find yourself in the middle of Promise Fulfilled. Everything inside of you will cry out, “It was unspeakably worth the wait!!!”
Don’t give up! The Word of the Lord WILL come to pass!!!
What has been your best strategy for keeping hope alive as your press through your own personal “Until?” I’d love to hear from you in the comments!