Posted by: sailingspirit | April 13, 2011

Are you crazy, or just a Joseph?

If an unusually and remarkably lengthy string of bad stuff has or is happening in your life, you feel totally stuck in a pit you can’t get out of, and you’re starting to wonder where the line is drawn between bad luck and insanity, stop blaming yourself!  “How can anyone straighten out what God has made crooked?” (Ecc. 7:13)  If it’s that bad, it’s probably not you; you may be one of Us.  You may have a “Joseph Calling.”  Turns out it’s pretty common, yet widely unknown.  That is to say, many people have it but have no idea what’s going on.  And the people they turn to for help don’t know, either.  Praise God for two men who have gone before and have written a book about it to help the rest of us.
The book finally arrived and I hardly took a bathroom break until I finished it. I cried and laughed–simultaneously–through the whole thing, because it was like reading my own life story! I can hardly describe the relief I’m feeling now, having finally received a justifying answer to everything I’ve been going through over these last several years. I’m NOT crazy, or lazy, foolish or unlucky. I’m not stubborn or cursed, either. I’ve been doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing, even when I didn’t know (in my head) it was what I was supposed to be doing. Now, praise God for Os’ book, I finally understand what a Joseph Calling means and what the process is.  I can finally get peace about all the horrible things I’ve gone through, because I finally understand HOW (concretely and strategically, not just generally) God’s hand was in all of it.  I know where I am in that process and what lies ahead. I know what I have yet to master and how to find both peace and strength to carry me through until “graduation.” And I’m comforted knowing that I’m not alone, I’m not some outlier or exception, because thousands of other people have been, are, or will soon be going through the same process because they have Joseph Callings, too.
If this is ringing your bells, you might be a Joseph.  Get this book: The author’s name is Os Hillman, and the title of the book is “The Upside of Adversity: Rising from the Pit to Greatness.”  It’s NOT just another of those endless marketplace self-help via positive-attitude, don’t-give-up books.  It’s an explanation of why you’re in the Joseph Pit (it’s not your fault), what you’re supposed to be learning while you’re in it (it’s not a waste of time), why that takes so long (especially if you fight it), and a roadmap for how to go forward from here (it will end).  It’s not Os’ program, it’s God’s program. It’s the syllabus for a university you don’t recall enrolling in.  There are methods behind the madness!  Here’s a place where you can watch an interview with the author talking about the book: http://vimeo.com/14418857
I hope it will bring you the same relief, comfort, and strengthening it brought me.  When you have read it, write me–I want to hear what you get out of it.
Much love for my Foxhole Friends!
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