Have you ever felt imprisoned by life so much so that you tried everything but kept hitting a brick wall? I went through a time like this when my life was grounded to a halt. I felt trapped and unable to move forward. I was drowning in debt and it didn’t seem like I was going to ever come out of it. I lost my job and had no means of livelihood. For years I couldn’t work, travel, go on a holiday or go out with friends. My situation was worse than that of a wicked person. My life had been sapped out of me and all that mattered to me was to break free from it all.
When life stood still for me and all I could see was a dark tunnel without a glimpse of light, I kept praying through the Bible. That was a season when walls closed in on me and I couldn’t swim through the sea of life without talking to God about it. Although it seemed like my life was in total darkness and I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, God kept me safe. My life was not in total darkness and I sought for the light in prayers, Jesus came through for me.
Out of that prison of life, I learnt to depend on God by studying the Bible. I drew strength from biblical characters who went through similar situations. To be precise – Joseph. He was one of those characters whose life I took solace from and I learnt real-life lessons from his life. I prayed a lot through it all and the more I prayed the more I believed in God to deliver me from it all. at the end of it all, my darkness disappeared into thin air and I entered into the light of God for my life.
You may be going through this kind of season in life and I’d like to encourage to you to trust God. This is simply a season and it will soon change. Do not be afraid and do not give up. Have a mindset that all things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26). There is no condition or any situation that is permanent when we hand it over to God. I pray you to find some hope and draw some strengths from these life lessons.
Here are three life lessons I learnt from Joseph who suffered a great deal of injustice and was imprisoned by life. I hope you’re able to glean from lessons learnt from his life.
1) Learn to form alliances and build relationships with the right people quickly – Joseph was only a teenager when he was sold into slavery but he quickly learnt to form alliances in the prison so much so that the prison guard entrusted the care of the prison to him. Joseph quickly became a supervisor in the prison through association.
2) Learn to forgive – Joseph could have avenged himself of his brothers as the head of Egypt but instead, he had compassion on his brothers. He forgave them and blessed them. The most stoic leader Nelson Mandela learnt the same thing in prison. He said; “As I walked out the door towards the gate that could lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison”. Mandela said that “Forgiveness liberates the soul, it removes fear. That’s why it’s such a powerful weapon.”
3) Exercise self-control – This is so important. Without self-control, you can lose everything in life. Joseph could have got carried away with his looks but instead, he learnt to control himself and he refused to sleep with his master’s wife whilst under pressure. Although doing this did not gain him any awards on earth, it was definitely recorded in heaven and at the right time, he received his reward on earth.