Abraham was waiting for a child. Joseph was wasting away in prison. Moses was wandering in the wilderness.

The stories are so familiar we forget that they are real stories and real people endured them. When we recall these Sunday school stores, they go by so quickly. They are tiny dots on a timeline, a little bit of chronology. “And then Moses did this and then they wandered in the wilderness for forty years, and then Joshua came…” It’s just something on a chart of Old Testament history. But do you know how long it felt like for Moses in the wilderness? It felt like forty years! That’s me going nowhere in particular until I’m seventy-five. Moses led a rebellious people for four decades in the desert, just waiting for them to die.

And think of Joseph. When we think of Joseph, we think of how he rose to power, how God turned everything to good. We love the story of Joseph. Someone should write a musical about it. But what did the happy story feel like for Joseph? Not always very happy. Imagine how you would feel if you were faithful in your master’s house, his wife came on to you, you said no, and you still ended up in prison? And you stay in prison because the man you helped get out of prison forgets all about you. We remember Joseph’s beginning and middle in light of his ending, but that’s not how Joseph experienced it.

Or what about Abraham? God promised him land, but he never inherited any of it. God promised him a son, and he had to wait a lifetime for it.

Can you believe that God has something good in store for you? Will you trust that someday when you see your beginning and middle with the ending in view that it will all make sense? Can you hope against hope that God has not forgotten you, that his promises are true, and that he is up to something? He was for Abraham and Joseph and Moses. Why not you too?