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The Race of Joseph

When I was in grad school, the college ministry held a talent show of sorts. A group of our guys sang “Dream Big” – the only time I’d ever heard that song until I looked it up for this email. Clearly, the lyrics had an impact. The chorus says, “When you Dream, Dream Big. As big as the ocean blue. When you dream it might come true. When you dream, Dream big.” Years later, I would hear the quote, “A goal is a dream with work boots on.” Rachel Hollis and Dave Ramsey have both been credited with this saying. Similarly, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “A dream without a plan is just a wish.” In many ways, a goal is a dream with a plan, purpose, and deadline. 

The American Dream says, “Be your own boss! Look out for number one! Gather all the wealth you can!” God’s purpose in our lives is much different. He calls us to serve (1 Peter 4:10-11) and to offer our bodies as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1) in everything we do. We work as for the Lord, not for man (Colossians 3:23). 

The world tells us to avoid weakness in ourselves and exploit the weaknesses of others. God reminds us that His power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). He assures us that He gives us all we need (2 Peter 1:3). Though He calls us to be servants (John 12:26), He also equips us for spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:10-18). Our soul longs to reunite with our Creator. No pleasure or luxury on earth can fill that void.

Joseph was a dreamer. As a young person, it’s possible he didn’t understand the impact of his dreams on his family. They saw arrogance when he shared his dreams with his family (Genesis 37:1-11). Many years and challenges later, Joseph saw God’s plan when those dreams became a reality (Genesis 42). He tells his brothers that what they intended for evil, God intended for good. Their self-serving actions led to the salvation of many people! (Genesis 45:4-8, 50:19-21).

In Anne’s House of Dreams, we read the phrase “the race that knows Joseph” several times (and in subsequent books).

“Yes. Cornelia divides all the folks in the world into two kinds– the race that knows Joseph and the race that don’t. If a person sorter sees eye to eye with you, and has pretty much the same ideas about things, and the same taste in jokes–why, then he belongs to the race that knows Joseph.”

“Oh, I understand,” exclaimed Anne, light breaking in upon her. “It’s what I used to call–and still call in quotation marks `kindred spirits.’”

“Jest so–jest so,” agreed Captain Jim. “We’re it, whatever it is. When you come in tonight, Mistress Blythe, I says to myself, says I, `Yes, she’s of the race that knows Joseph.’ And mighty glad I was, for if it wasn’t so we couldn’t have had any real satisfaction in each other’s company. The race that knows Joseph is the salt of the earth, I reckon.”

L.M. Montgomery

In Exodus 1:8, we read that the new generation of Egyptians “did not know Joseph.” In other words, they also did not have knowledge of God. Only the remnant remained. Throughout the Old Testament, we see the importance of the remnant. Their purpose was the coming Messiah. In the New Testament, Christians become the faithful remnant, even as they are scattered due to persecution. If you have followed God, YOU are now a part of that remnant and God has a purpose for you!

Mrs. McCoy, my Kiddie Kollege (preschool) teacher said this to us EVERY day. This lesson has followed me ever since.

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