Let’s talk about Joseph.
He was seventeen when his father gifted him the robe of many colors. This wasn’t just any coat, either. The normal tunic the men wore came down to their knees and was sleeveless. This robe was spectacular beyond the vibrance pouring out of every colorful detail. This robe went to the ground and had sleeves, the word used to describe it being the same word used to also describe a robe of a princess later on in the New Testament.
Some scholars believe this robe was Israel/Jacob’s way of naming Joseph the family priest, which would have caused quite the uproar when that was a privilege that was to go to the oldest.
But regardless of the intention, both tie into the fact that this was no fuzzy white bath robe or casual knit cardigan– the robe Israel gave to his son was extravagant, giving off priest and royal vibes.
Soon after, Joseph had a wild dream where he and all of his brothers were sheaves and they all gathered around him, bowing down to him.
I don’t really know why he would share this dream with his brothers. You could say he did it out of spite, but I think maybe Joseph was just super naive. So he woke up and ran to find his brothers, “Guess what guys?! I had a really cool dream where you all bowed down to me.”
It went over exactly how you could imagine, his brothers mocking, “Do you actually think you’re destined to rule over us?” You can hear their ridicule of their father’s favorite son lift right off the page. Please, Joseph. Stop being annoying.
Next, because Joseph doesn’t learn his lesson the first time to keep his mouth shut, he has another dream, this time sharing it not only with his brothers but also with his dad.
“I had another dream, guys! This time mom and dad were there but they were the sun and moon and you guys (the eleven brothers) were all there as stars! You guys all bowed to me again!”
This time, Israel piped up, scolding, “Do you really think we are all bowing down to you?”
I love The Passion Translation commentary, expanding on the fact in the dreams they were stars and sheaves. God could have made them anything, but he called them in it, too. They were his crops on earth and they were radiant stars. God saw them and called them each His own. This wasn’t him belittling them, squashing them like flies, or calling them the enemy. This was a story he was trying to tell and they were only in the beginning, yet they took it as the whole picture and were angry.
That’ll preach in itself, friend, but let’s keep moving.
Priestly, royal robe… check.
Priestly, royal dream numero uno… check.
Priestly, royal dream 2.0… check.
Do you remember how this story goes? Joseph ends up getting sold by his angry, jealous brothers for the wages of an average joe male slave. Joseph becomes head over all of Potipher’s possessions in time of famine, when all of the people in surrounding areas had to come to Egypt to get food, which God well-stocked in advance after he sent a dream to Potipher of what would happen in the land.
But in order for Joseph to rise to the place of power in Egypt, he had to be sold into slavery by his brothers. He had to be stripped of that royal robe.
There were three robes. The one he was given by his father that his brothers ripped off him and used to deceive his father. The one he was given by Potipher that Potipher’s wife ripped off of him when he wouldn’t sleep with her, falsey accusing him of sexual assault. Then there was the robe given to him that he wore as he ruled over Egypt.
He had to shed the old robes to get to the better plans God had aligned for him.
In the book, The New Era of Glory, Tim Sheets explains the importance of moving from glory to glory. He talks about how sometimes, we can get stuck, seeing a season as a destination instead of a pit stop. Let’s be real… God does great things! And when we can’t see the future beyond what’s in front of us, it’s hard to imagine things could get any better.
Sure, sometimes seasons are so dry we can’t comprehend there is any life or lesson in the span of time from God. The seasons don’t feel like gifts and definitely don’t leave us feeling sought out and loved by our heavenly Father. Sometimes we already have our bags packed, ready, and waiting for the next move. Anyway now, Lord. But given how time widens our lens and broadens our perspective, eventually when we reflect we can find the gold in those seasons.
Then there are the seasons that are the brightest where we feel like we’re just floating in the Lord’s glory river and bathing in his goodness. Like a toddler playing in the bath surrounded by a world of tub toys when momma says it’s time to get out. “But I don’t wanna!” I’m a sucker for a good meltdown when the Lord wants me to get up and walk into a new season, pulling the floppy, dead body weight move that make up at least one scarring Target moment for every mom, hoisting the child over the shoulder or under the arm like they’re nothing more than a stack of library books and making a run for the door. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all experienced some season or relationship we clung to way longer than we should have because it was just so good. Maybe not by the end… but it was at one point and we can still imagine the beauty that it beheld, as we try to remold and intiate CPR to revive it.
Sometimes we try to speak life to things that God has been asking us to set down and let go of for a long time. Declaring Ezekiel’s words in the valley of dry bones over those things don’t work, friend.
Are you clinging to your old robes?
When Luca was a little over one, Donny and I were in a season of trying to find our place at church and in life in general. We went to a prophetic prayer night that was led by one of our pastors, where everyone took turns heading to the middle to have everyone lay hands on them in prayer and speak words over.
When Donny and I’s turn came, we stepped in the middle. Words poured out for Donny, and then for me I had a single word on repeat. “Speak, Speak, Speak, Speak. Open your mouth. Speak.”
The word came to me in a silver of time when I felt like I had lost my voice, having been an adamant writer only until I had become a mom. Suddenly, I didn’t know what to say and I didn’t think whatever I did have to say would matter to anyone. In those early momming years where I gave myself the label of “terrible step mom”, “bad wife”, and “crappy christian”, I let the enemy trick me into believing that the Lord had given me gifts but he took them back because they surpassed their expiration date.
A few weeks later, we went to another prayer night and someone told me they had a vision of me with a microphone in front of people.
I think there is an important lesson here for us, friend, even beyond the obvious of seasons, visions, and restoration he pours out. We need to be sure we are more like Joseph, not just hAvInG dReAmS (insert Spongebob imagination gif) and letting them go to waste. When the Lord speaks something into existence in our hearts, we have a duty to protect the seed before it blooms and to keep our eyes on Him through it. Joseph’s brothers and even his dad, to whom it was well known he was named favorite child, didn’t believe his dreams and stomped all over them. They wanted him to kill the dreams and render them hopeless because they didn’t like their own placement in the dreams.
Trust the dream giver, friend. He is a good Father who gives good gifts to His children. If he is calling you into a new season, asking you to follow him to new territory, don’t let fear fix you in this place- run in obedience and confidence that He is the same God that blessed Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon,… he has impeccable credentials.
There is more for us. This isn’t it for you, friend. And if you have been clinging to the same glory, trying to hold everything in place so it doesn’t topple, know that. This isn’t your destination. Be brave enough to let go and keep moving. Be courageous enough to not try and slap a christian hallmark phrase on it, redefining the season. It’s time to enter a new glory, and though it will be hard– because birthing new things is always hard and painful– there is something better to come than anything you have ever known. Keep going deeper, friend. Keep shedding those old seasons and walking graciously into whats to come. There is goodness to unravel.