But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. ~Genesis 50:20
Like most great leaders, Joseph of the Old Testament labored in obscurity before he became qualified to lead others. Nearly twenty-three years passed from the pit to the palace before Joseph was reunited with his brothers and his vision was fulfilled.
But by then, he had come to learn that true progress occurs only when God orchestrates it. He understood that self-promotion can never replace divine promotion. His self-promotion with his brothers failed miserably. Only when he finally became submissive-as a slave-and chose to work faithfully for Potiphar, did it become evident that “the Lord was with him” (Genesis 39:3 nkjv).
In prison, he served the jail’s keeper, and again God showed him favor and mercy. But when Joseph tried to take self-promotion back into his own hands-by recommending himself to Pharaoh’s chief butler-God again made him wait. Two years passed before Joseph got an audience with the monarch. By then, Joseph had learned his lesson. He was content to recognize that God was in charge . . . and that he was being grown as a leader for a much greater purpose than he could have imagined.