I like straight lines...

Straight line... point A to point B.  Actually, if you remember fourth grade geometry, a line includes two points and continues infinitely in both directions.  A line segment is defined as a line that ends at a point on each side.

I did prefer straight lines.  When Frank and I first married, we lived in a small apartment in South Carolina.  Our apartment was in the back of a large complex and had just been built, so we were the first to live there.  I remember the weekend my parents were coming to visit - I wanted everything to be just perfect.  Frank came home from work that Friday a little early to help do whatever I still needed.  He marched in the front door of our apartment and was met with my somewhat hysterical scream ending in the word... SSSSTTTTOOOOPPPP! STOP right there!  He obediently froze with one foot still in the air wondering what could possibly be wrong...

Me:  "Don't step on the carpet!!!  The lines are straight - I just vacuumed."

Frank: "So how am I supposed to get to the kitchen?"

It was a good question to which I had the perfect answer...

Me:  "Just walk around the edges... stay close to the wall."

How silly, really... if you walked into my home right now... that "straight line" importance doesn't exist.

We used to say that when Clay was a toddler, he knew only a straight line... to move as quickly as possible from point A to point B... didn't matter AT ALL what obstacles blocked the path.  You know, the proverbial, bull in the china shop.  You get the picture.

 A ray would be our closest definition... a straight line beginning at one point continuing to infinity... or for those in Christ - eternity.  This journey of life is more of a zig zag... full of crooked lines, isn't it?

We ran into Kellie's Kindergarten teacher today... Her sweet voice hasn't changed a bit, and neither had her kind heart always concerned for others.  Kellie was in her class 22 years ago, so I couldn't help but spend a few minutes thinking about those 22 years in our families' life... some bumps, several curves, some repeats, a few circles, a couple of 180 degree turn arounds, and joys, challenges, and lessons along the way.

You've probably realized, I love Joseph's life story in the Old Testament.  As I study his life, I see so many bumps, so many curves, so many unexpected moments.

You remember...
Big bump: He was sold by his brothers into slavery.

Good curve:   He was fortunate enough to land in the house of Potiphar and work his way up to being "in charge" of Potiphar's house after gaining his respect.

Unexpected twist:  Potiphar's wife approached Joseph with inappropriate intentions.

Good decision:  He, rightly so, denied her advances.

Difficult results:  In her frustration/indignation, she falsely accused Joseph of coming after her.  The charges landed him in prison, unjustly so... remember, and there he sat.

Surprising positive turn:  He found favor in the eyes of the jailer, who put him in charge of the prisoners.  He met the Pharaoh's cupbearer and baker, who both experienced disturbing dreams.  Joseph correctly interpreted both dreams... with good news for the cup bearer who was restored to his position in the palace, and bad news for the baker whose life was ended in exactly the way Joseph described.

Another bump:  So, Joseph sat in prison as he waited for the cup bearer to "remember" him.

Long quiet stall:  Two years later Pharaoh had a dream, and the cup bearer remembered Joseph.

Bruised, yet encouraged:  Joseph interprets the dream, and, once again, is put in charge of Pharaoh's household.  He is placed in a position to determine all plans/processes for the coming 7 years of plenty followed by 7 years of famine.

Full circle understanding:  Joseph has the opportunity to save his entire family and to bring them to live in Egypt.  Yes, those same brothers who originally sold him into slavery.

For each of the bold headings above, you (and I) could plug in our own twists, turns, bumps and precious moments of life.  What I have come to realize is that NOTHING... no twist, no turn, no bump, no time in our journey is wasted.  Our Heavenly Father promises that ALL things, ALL THINGS work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

Can I just encourage you - if you are walking through a seeming, never-ending bump... God is for you, and His plan is good.  He promises not to ever leave you.  So hold on to Him... knowing He is holding you.

Maybe straight lines aren't so great, anyway... it's okay, Frank... just walk straight through the middle of the den!  😊

But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God?
 As for you, you meant evil against me, 
but God meant it for good, 
to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
Genesis 50:19-20

1 comment

  1. Romans 8:28 is definitely my favorite Bible verse...I have held onto it through so many of life's zig zags. Thanks for sharing this encouragement.