After they had been in custody for some time, 5 each of the two men—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison—had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.
6 When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. 7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?”
8 “We both had dreams,” they answered, “but there is no one to interpret them.”
Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”
9 So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, “In my dream I saw a vine in front of me, 10 and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand.”
12 “This is what it means,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches are three days. 13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. 14 But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. 15 I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.”
16 When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread.[a] 17 In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”
18 “This is what it means,” Joseph said. “The three baskets are three days. 19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and impale your body on a pole. And the birds will eat away your flesh.”
20 Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand— 22 but he impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation. Genesis 40:5-22
Both men sought Joseph’s interpretations of their dreams but only one was glad he had asked. From an early age Joseph had these dreams. It’s why he was where he was. As we would say today, “It’s a gift…and a curse.” Somebody’s unique gift to the world can also be that person’s “curse.”
For me, it’s noticing minor punctuation and spelling errors in brochures, church bulletins, and the like. Fortunately, that “skill” enabled me to earn a living as a technical writer and editor but when I point out these types of errors to those who are not seeking such proofreading skills, it is just annoying to them. And it’s much easier noticing errors to text I have not written. You’ve probably noticed an error or two over these last 10 years, some more egregious than others.
But Joseph had to use the skills and talents God gave him. He had to. It’s what God gifted him to do.
Somebody reading this right now is not using the skills and talents that God has given them. For whatever reason, you gave up on that gift, but it’s in the back of your mind. Step slowly back into your gift and talent. God can and will use you mightily.
Others are not using your gift to its fullest potential. Step it up. You know you want to and need to but again, you’re not using your gifts the way they should be used.
And as you go further with your giftings, God will richly bless you.