Life is a journey, full of twists and unexpected turns. But when we submit our ways to the Lord, He “makes our paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:6)

Are you in the “prison years” of life?

Our Sunday school class has been working its way through the book of Genesis and finally made it to the story of Joseph. We all picture young Joseph as a cocky, rather spoiled favorite that earned disgruntled jealousy from his older brothers.

But by the time his story ends, he is a very different Joseph. While in the throes of very challenging circumstances, his heart underwent a transformation that allowed the Lord to use him in mighty ways.

Most of us our familiar with Potiphar’s wife’s false accusation that sent Joseph to prison. He must have felt pretty low at that point–sold into slavery by his brothers, trying to do his best to make things work at his new job in Egypt only to be tossed into prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

And yet, even in prison, the Lord kept His hand on Joseph, blessing his efforts and causing him to find favor. Instead of throwing up his hands or blaming God for his circumstances, Joseph used those “prison years” to fine-tune his faith, forgive his brothers, and serve the Lord the best he could.


As I pondered this, I realized some things about my own life. This cancer journey is much like Joseph’s “prison years”. He had no inkling whether his stay there would be long or short, just as I can not see the outcome of my situation.

The “prison years” can be dark and dreary when we view only our present circumstances. But we never know what God has in store or what He is doing behind the scenes. In the blink of an eye, He might do something totally unexpected. Joseph went from prisoner to second in command in a short span of time. And I truly believe that is because he honored God where he was at and sought the Lord wholeheartedly.

Like Joseph, I want to use my “prison years” as a time to mature in my faith and learn obedience, rather than wallow in self-pity, wondering “why me?” Whether He choses to heal me or not, I long to be transformed into His likeness and fulfill His purpose for me.


A full two years passed passed after Joseph interpreted the cupbearer’s dream before he was released. But Joseph’s time in the dungeon was time well spent. He emerged from the “prison years” not cocky or embittered, but a god-fearing, obedient servant who valued the Lord’s plan above his own.

Oh how I pray that for each of us. May we go through the dark “prison years” seeking the Lord’s plan for our lives, making every effort to drink in His presence and fill our souls with a longing for Him. So when we reach the other side, we might taste the fullness of His good and perfect will.

Are you enduring the dark “prison years” of illness, financial stress, marital decay, brokenness, disaster, trauma? Be patient. The Lord hasn’t left you alone.

“For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help you.”

Isaiah 41:13


Inspirational Historical Romance set during the Civil War era

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