A few years ago, the phrase “It is what it is,” seemed to be on everyone’s lips. It was a way of saying, “I can’t really explain why this or that happened, but it sure is making my life hard.”
Life is unfair. That seems obvious, but it’s extremely hard to accept when life is unfair to us. You’ve got to admit, if you were the big fish in the small bowl, you’d have to wonder why your situation wasn’t reversed with that of the little fish.
About 4000 years ago there was a young man by the name of Joseph. He was a bright and talented guy who had 10 brothers who hated him so much they sold him to a bunch of slave traders who took him more than 300 miles from home and traded him as a piece of property. Now, Joseph may have been a bit arrogant, and his father did show favoritism, but did those shortcomings really deserve such drastic retribution? I wonder if when asked, “Why are you here living as a slave?” Joseph responded, “It is what it is.”
Joseph worked hard for his owner, was blessed by God, and became the manager of the household. Things were looking up until his owner’s wife tried to seduce him. When he politely refused, she accused him of attempted rape and put him in prison.
Don’t you think the question was asked, “Joseph, if you didn’t do anything wrong, what are you here for”?
“It is what it is.”
Joseph does a repeat performance in the prison. Soon he’s running the place. He meets two government officials who are troubled by enigmatic dreams. He interprets both dreams. One of the men is reinstated to his position, but as you might have guessed, he forgot about Joseph.
Did another prisoner ever ask, “Joseph, what happened to the guy you helped? Did he forget about you?”
“It is what it is?”
You probably know the rest of the story. Joseph eventually interprets some dreams for the king of Egypt (aka Pharaoh) and suddenly after about 20 years of “it is what it is” living, Joseph finds himself running the Egyptian government. Sometime later Joseph is reunited with his brothers who sold him into slavery. They were, with good reason, just a little bit worried about how he would react to them. But by this time, he had learned that “it is what it is” didn’t explain anything which had taken place in his life. Instead, he responded,
“Am I in the place of God? You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…Don’t be afraid.”
You and I may not always understand as clearly as Joseph did the ways God worked through the difficult times he experienced, but we can have the same confidence that God is as active in our lives as he was in Joseph’s. If you are at a loss to explain why and what is going on in your life, if the best you can say is, “it is what it is”, join us for one of our weekend worship services. God does work in mysterious ways, but though they be mysterious, they are always the best.
Weekend worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm – Sunday: 10:00 am