The story of Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, has always been an interesting one to me.
The favorite son is sold by his brothers to Egyptian slavers. The slavers sell him to the captain of Pharaoh's body guard, where he is framed by the man's wife, causing him to be sent to prison, where he meets Pharaoh's baker and cupbearer. Joseph helps the two men, and the cupbearer promises to speak to Pharaoh on Joseph's behalf when he is released. Unfortunately, when he is released, he forgets about Joseph. (Genesis 37,39-40)
If you've read this story, you know that some time later, the cupbearer does remember Joseph. But it's not until the exact right time. Because of that perfect timing, Joseph was brought to the attention of Pharaoh exactly when Egypt and the surrounding lands need him.
Joseph, with God's help, warned the nation of the seven years of famine that would follow seven years of abundance.
With God's blessing, Joseph became second-in-the-command and guided Egypt through the good years and then the bad years. The wisdom God gave him saved Egypt and even saved his own family from probable starvation.
If the cupbearer had left the prison and immediately petitioned Pharaoh for Joseph's release, Joseph could have been reunited with his family more than seven years sooner than he was, but then the Egyptians would have been left without the knowledge and help they needed. Even Joseph and his family may have died from the lack of food.
When I read that short line that says that the cupbearer forgot about Joseph, I always feel a little sad.
Sometimes we feel like God has forgotten us in our struggles as well. In the life of Joseph, God was orchestrating events just the way He wanted them. God brought Joseph to the cupbearer's mind at the perfect time.
In the same way, God acts in our lives at the perfect time. We get impatient or frustrated or angry. We feel like we've been forgotten or ignored.
What we must remember is that God stands outside of time. He knows what is coming next, and He knows when to bring your new job. He knows when to give you a baby. He knows when to make the cupbearer remember you.
There are several things I'm waiting for in my life, and I often have a difficult time waiting for them to come about. On my worst days, I want to reach out and grab those things, with no regard to the repercussions.
But on my best days, I know that as much as I want those things, I don't want any of it outside of His planning. My desires, if He chooses to give them to me, will come about in the way He wants them to and at the time He wants them to. And that will be the best way.