Joseph. Dreamer. Favored one. Slave. Favored. Prisoner. Mighty savior.
He wore cloaks that were used against him. First his brothers lied about his bloody cloak to cover up their mistreatment of him. Later Potipher's wife used the cloak she ripped from him to falsely accuse him of attacking her.
It's nice to look good on the outside, to perform well, for others to see us as good, true, faithful, and brave. But it's easy to think our outer appearance and performance will save us, when they can just as easily be the source of our oppression.
We spend too many hours and days painting barns and dressing up pigs, don't we? Deep down, we can't just be loved, be secure, be okay. We get it all sideways when we try to make our outside life line up with who God says we are inside His will.
When will His grace weigh more in our souls than the false accusations of others?
I have a cloak of many colors and it is heavy with golden threads. It fits my earthly body a bit poorly, because I was sold into this world that is not my home. My cloak is woven with beauty and luxurious to the touch. Someday someone will probably try to use it to to bring me shame. That's a natural byproduct of living where what is meant for evil must happen so that all that is good can prevail by holy design.
The truth rings out with a trinity of song: Beauty is as beauty believes. Who we are is more valuable than who others perceive us to be. We walk by faith, not by sight.
Somewhere in the story of Joseph, and of you and of me, there is Another who wore a cloak that was prized. He carried our sin and He let His oppressors gamble for the possession of His outer garment so that His inner Life could be poured out as a sacrifice for our own. He held our lives as more valuable than His reputation, His comfort, and His appearance. He sees what we do and He becomes what we could not so that we can become like Him and do as He wills.
This is the meaning of life: not that we know and are seen as our best selves, but that we know Him who sees us best of all.
That Joseph, he is just a witness trying to show us the truth he learned: God's will is bigger than our circumstances.
Today is not the day we lose heart. Today we will arise and run to God, because today Jesus wills what was meant for evil into the greatest good of all: the saving of our souls.