So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?” “We both had dreams,” they answered, “but there is no one to interpret them.”
- Genesis 40:7-8a
In the work of taking care of Pharaoh’s officials, Joseph stumbled across a possible “trigger.”
What must it have been like for Joseph to hear them mention their disturbing dreams? After all, Joseph’s dreams helped lead him to this country and this prison.
Joseph had dreams in his youth, dreams where he rose to leadership and earned respect from those who mattered most to him. But those dreams caused conflict and tension, which escalated into violence and got him sold into slavery.
We can easily imagine Joseph replying to the stories about the dreams of Pharaoh’s officials with a Bob Newhardt-esque: “I, I, I don’t do dreams.”
Joseph’s past and his present collided. He had a decision to make. He could push through his discomfort and help his fellow-prisoners. Or he could retreat from the bad memories and leave those guys to fend for themselves.
Tomorrow, we’ll see what Joseph decided. But today we want to pause and reflect on how our past difficult experiences shape our present engagement with the people around us.
Somewhere in your rear-view mirror you have an experience that might boomerang back to you in a missional opportunity. Someone might need your help. What will you do when the boomerang comes back to you? Will you catch it or will you duck?
Where do you need to engage with and experience healing from something in your past so that you can help someone if they find themselves in a similar situation in the future?

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