May 2, 2019
Blessings in the Prison

by Judy Mzungu

The Prison.

That Dark Place.

The Place of Isolation.

The Place of Confinement.

The Place where calls stop coming through. Your phone goes completely silent. The Place where no one knocks your door. The Place of abandonment. And no, it’s not about you reaching out – Even if you did, you really cannot connect with the Outside world.

Tough as it may be, you must serve your Sentence. The Purpose of this ‘Prison’ must be fulfilled. It really is a paradox. A part of you is scared. Really scared. Then there’s the other part of you that quietly enjoys the Peace and Serenity of this Moment.

And then, in the midst of it all, an Interruption happens.

In Genesis 40:2-3, the Bible says

Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined.

Just like Joseph, we will all encounter different seasons of life. You see, Joseph had gone from being his father’s favorite son, to being thrown into the pit, to becoming a slave, becoming an administrator in Potiphar’s house – and was now in prison.

He was at the worst point in his life; serving sentence for something he had not done. Then he has a chance encounter with two people – and even at his lowest, is sensitive enough to recognize their need.

In Genesis 40:6-8, the Bible says

When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, “Why are your faces sad today?” “We both had dreams,” they answered, “but there is no one to interpret them.” Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”

You see, the need for the interpretation of the dreams of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker helped to reignite a gift in Joseph, a gift that seemed to have been lost in the turbulent journey of his life. But yet, the key for Joseph was in being isolated – and having a heightened sense of awareness of what was going on around him – and then voluntarily offering to be of assistance.

In Genesis 41:10-14,

Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh was once very angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain guard. Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was hanged.” So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon.

It’s quite likely that had these two gentlemen met Joseph in their normal course of life, he would be too distracted to engage them – and there would have never been an opportunity to interact.

By being in the right place – yes, the Prison; and by that one act of using his gift, Joseph essentially unlocked the prison doors – and launched himself into a new dimension of his existence.

Many of us start out with great abilities and talents; Life throws its seasons at us, Then somehow, through it all, we slip into survival mode – and forget the gifts and dreams we ever had. Scary as the Prison experience may be, it’s that place where we are conveniently located to be found – and then jolted to do that which we are wired to do.

In a dark season of this writer’s life; in May 2018, she received a strange call from someone who needed help with transcription. Not having much to do at the time, she kindly obliged; and unsuspectingly stepped into a labor room for the rebirth of a gift that had long been dead and buried.

Unknown to the caller, I actually had a passion for writing, had dreamt of becoming a journalist, written my debut article at a young age – even got published – but somehow in the course of life, had lost that dream.

And so, I dedicate this article to my ‘chief cupbearer’ – Thank you for stepping into my Prison and re-igniting my gift; Thank you for that call that made me reactivate my ‘dead’ Facebook account and begin to write again; Thank you for every word of encouragement through the journey. May God richly reward you!

I write to encourage everyone experiencing their ‘Prison’. Every article I pen is born out of the rich treasures of the Prison experience; and a deep appreciation of what only God can do.

My prayer for every reader of every piece that goes out, is that by God’s grace, these articles will help you find encouragement, inspiration, and faith for your own journey. Bon Voyage

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