Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house. For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit. Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. (Gen. 40:14, 15, 23)
It’s not always easy to ask for help. Sometimes, it’s downright uncomfortable. We wonder: Will I appear too needy? Will people think I’m weak or inept? After all, I don’t want to inconvenience anyone.
Though these thoughts often run through our heads, it seems that the way God has set it up is that from time to time, we need a little help. Whether it’s something at work, home, school or our personal lives, every now and then we realize it’s rather hard to get where we need to be without support from other people.
If you remember, (I know it’s been a while; don’t judge me!) we’re walking through five statements we must affirm to fully participate in the work and will of God, derived from the life of Joseph. So far, we’ve gone through three:
Now, here’s number 4:
A young woman tells the story of moving to a new city when one of her sons had a medical emergency late at night. It didn’t take long to realize the boy would need stitches. With her husband out of town and other family members miles away, this mother had two options from which to choose: Drag her other young sons out of bed and tote them all off to the hospital, or call a friend to help her while she tended to her ailing son.
Even though the young woman was concerned that her new friend would feel inconvenienced by her request, she chose to ask for her help anyway. Much to her surprise, her friend was more than willing to help, making a stressful, hectic night much easier.
Don’t you just love a happy ending?
If only all of our meager requests for a helping hand turned out that way.
But what about when you ask someone for help and it doesn’t go at all like you’d hoped?
As Joseph sat imprisoned at the bottom of a pit, his only hope, his only saving grace, was a cupbearer that had been imprisoned along with him that was soon to be released. So he asked the cupbearer outright: “When you get out of here can you tell Pharaoh that I haven’t done anything wrong and to let me out of here, too?”
And what did the cupbearer do with that impassioned request? He forgot all about it. He went on his merry way, enjoying his freedom and leaving Joseph to suffer imprisonment indefinitely.
Ever been there? Have you ever reached out and expressed your need for help only to have it ignored, forgotten, minimized or dismissed, leaving you with a strong resolve to swear off humankind as a whole? When we experience that kind of disappointment, it’s hard not to feel overlooked, hopeless or even a little embarrassed.
Help is on the Way
It took two whole years for that cupbearer to remember Joseph. Two whole years! (Gen. 41:1) But when Pharaoh heard about Joseph, he “quickly brought him out of the pit.” (Gen. 41:14) And the rest, as they say, is history. Joseph rose to power and was a blessing to many.
Many times, the help we ask God for comes through the hands, feet and heart of other people.
Even if you feel forgotten or mistreated along the way, trust that God knows, He sees and He will bring about deliverance at just the right time. Ask God to keep your heart humble enough to seek and accept help as He leads.