• Elpidio Pezzella

The waiting for the ideogram


“The Lord is my portion”, says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. Lamentations 3:24-25 (NKJV)

A Japanese emperor went to a famous painter to ask him to paint the ideogram of his family. The painter thanked him for the offer, but specified that to get a good result he needed two years. The emperor insisted on having it earlier, but the painter was adamant and so he was forced to yield. After about six months, the emperor went to the painter and asked him if the ideogram was ready, but the painter pointed out that the two years had not yet passed. After a year the emperor again went to the painter, but he reiterated that he was not ready yet. So it was that the emperor resigned himself and waited for the expiry of the two years. After the fixed term he went anxiously to the painter and asked him to see the ideogram. Then the painter took a sheet and a peninerello and in his presence he painted the ideogram. The emperor was first astonished by the perfection of the design and then with altered tone asked the painter: "But you could not do it before?". The painter: «No, then I would not have been able». The painter invited the emperor to follow him in his atelier, where he showed him 730 drafts of the same ideogram, one for each day of the two years. The impatience of the emperor is familiar to us. What distinguishes most of us is the inability to wait for the opportune moment, which then is the one established by God. This is why it is then nervous to live everyday life and when we get involved by the unexpected you end up in total uncertainty. Joseph, son of Jacob, offers us the indication of consciously waiting for the Lord and the fulfillment of dreams, knowing that everything is under the supervision of God. The dreamer remains one of my favorite biblical characters. He had in his heart something supernatural that he was struggling to manage, as an inexperienced boy and unable to see the malice of others. How dear to me is the scene of the elderly father who prepares a long-sleeved robe for that beloved child. Joseph had revealed to his father the bad reputation of some of his brothers, which had probably already undermined his freedom more than those envied dreams (Genesis 37). Of the family only the father jealously guards the dreams of his son, while the brothers (can be defined as such?) Wait for the opportunity to get rid of him. Soon the boy will have to exercise his faith, and like Jeremiah to recognize: "The Lord is my portion, therefore I hope in him". And he will not be disappointed. Both the painter and the emperor have benefited from time. The first has refined his technique, improved the hatching, managing to make visible what from the beginning was in his mind but that needed attempts. The emperor obtained what he had ordered and found satisfaction in the final realization. So Joseph silently lets time run its course, confident in the invisible work of the hand of God does not give up in the cistern, in the chariot that takes him to Egypt, to Potiphar's house and even to the Egyptian prison. At the end of the story, the dreamer learned to wait for God's times and to respect their ways. He allowed his life to fall on the path established by the Eternal One, who had foreseen and supported everything for the sole purpose of saving his family and his people. Only a heart fearful of God and full of love for his loved ones will be able, despite the position reached, to declare to those who had plotted death: "But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life" (Genesis 45:5). It always remains a matter of time.

Devotional 24/2018 Weekly Bible reading plan 11th June Ezra 1-2; John 19:23-42 12nd June Ezra 3-5; John 20 13rd June Ezra 6-8; John 21 14th June Ezra 9-10; Acts 1 15th June Nehemiah 1-3; Acts 2:1-21 16th June Nehemiah 4-6; Acts 2:22-47 17th June Nehemiah 7-9; Acts 3

Photo by Kassia Wilson, www.freeimages.com

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