As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…. — Genesis 50:20
“You can’t make a difference without being different.” – Richard Montanez
Richard Montanez is the creator of the hot Cheeto. He was once the janitor for his company with no high school education. His rise to the creator of one of the most popular foods consumed in my community and around the world is a powerful story. His message is clear; he wasn’t an executive, which allowed him to see opportunities in a different way. His lack of education and cultural experiences started him in a low-level role in his company but ultimately served as the catalysts for his success and the company’s success. I love another one of his common phrases when he speaks:
“A revelation is something that has always been there, but you didn’t see until now.”
There are so many aspects in our story God wants to use, but many times we don’t see what God sees. God doesn’t just see an event, good or bad; he sees a story unfolding. We all have experiences we wish didn’t happen in our stories and experience we want to shout to the world. God desires to use each of these experiences to expand who we are becoming. As we understand how he’s using these experiences, we begin to see the bigger story he is writing.
God gave Joseph a vision at a young age that his brothers and family would bow down to him. He told them this dream which was probably a bad idea. They sold him as a slave and faked his death. Joseph spent the next 14 years of his life as a slave and in prison. That doesn’t sound like experiencing the promises of God and living on purpose. What I love about Joseph is that he never lost sight of his purpose. As a slave, he was growing his purpose as a leader in Potifer’s house. In prison, he grew his purpose by overseeing people and using his gift of prophecy. One day the king needed his gift. One day he was in prison, and the next, he was in charge of the palace! Wow, what a story. Every experience Joseph had was a part of God’s desire to expand who Joseph was!
How does God want to use your experiences to expand your story?
What are your top 3-5 painful and pivotal life experiences? How have they shaped the story God is telling through your life?