When he was 16, pianist Leon Fleisher made his formal debut at Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic. He went on to win numerous prestigious international competitions and played in the world’s finest concert halls. But at the age of 37, he was struck with a neurological condition that crippled his right hand. After a period of despondency and withdrawal, he turned to teaching and conducting, because, as he said, he loved music more than he loved the piano.
When our plans fail and our dreams are shattered, how do we react? After Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, he could have given into self-pity and self-indulgence. Instead, he remained faithful and steadfast in his trust in God. As a result, four times in Genesis 39, we read that “the LORD was with him.” Despite his deplorable circumstance, “he became a successful man…all that he did prospered in his hand…and whatever he did, the LORD made to prosper.”
Although Joseph surely grieved the loss of his past and what his life could have been, he allowed the LORD to lead him to a calling he could never have imagined. By his exemplary life, those he served in Egypt recognized God’s presence with him.