After Joseph brothers sold him into slavery to the Midianites they thought the days of their brother were now over. But then pops up this verse.
“Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.” (Genesis 37:36 NIV)
Take a moment and think about that word, “Meanwhile.” What does it suggest? For some, “meanwhile” means that things are the same as they ever have been.
Some may remember those old westerns where it would say, “Meanwhile back at the ranch.” In other words, nothing has changed. Everything remains the same. The word suggests summer days in Mesquite where we can literally recite the weather by memory, “hot.”
But that’s not the meaning here. Here the word “meanwhile” serves an entirely different purpose. It leaves the door open for something more. It goes along with the saying, “It ain’t over until…”
It suggests there’s more to come. It reminds us that God’s ways are not our own, and that He’s working something out that’s completely beyond our understanding and comprehension.
It suggests that no matter what we may see going on around us, God is still working out His plan and purpose, even though we may be oblivious to it. Despite what the day’s events may bring, God is fulfilling His word, purpose, and promise.
That’s exactly what is going on with Joseph. His brothers believe that he’s as good as gone and his dreams silenced. But this word, “meanwhile,” hints otherwise.
Meanwhile means that God’s plans and purposes are being worked out in our lives even if we don’t see them at the present time.
Meanwhile means that the side trips, the detours of life, are not wasted trips, but will accomplish what God has intended to further His goals and purposes.
Finally, meanwhile means that God can use the evil that is perpetrated upon us by others for our good to serve His purposes and goals in our lives.
This Sunday at our 10 a.m. service we’ll be looking at “Living in the Meanwhile.”
Dennis Lee is the senior pastor of Living Waters Fellowship in Mesquite, NV.