As I was working on last week’s blog, the earlier part of this passage also stood out to me:
After burying his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, together with his brothers and all the others who had gone with him to bury his father. When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept. His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said. But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
-Genesis 50:14-21 NIV
Here we are again. A loss has happened, but this time it was Jacob. By the time they got back to Egypt, Joseph’s brothers were already stressing about what would happen to them. You see, they still didn’t get it. Their guilt was so big that they were for sure Joseph was going to make them pay for their sin once and for all. So, they conspired another plan to make Joseph cower, which brought him to tears. They were trying to manipulate the situation that wasn’t even a situation. They could not ask him straight up. They had to communicate through the back door. Yet, Joseph in his kindness and wisdom said:
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Sometimes bad things happen to innocent people for the sake of saving many lives. It’s the hard truth. Joseph’s brother’s hearts were not good out of jealousy, yet even with that God was looking ahead. Joseph didn’t have it easy at any point of this life, but his mind and heart allowed him to rule and reign over all of Egypt and save many lives.
I wonder how many of us have a story where harm was intended on us, BUT GOD intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done. I love that line: What is NOW being done. It’s active. Its present tense. Even in the loss of his father, Joseph still spoke from a present tense perspective. He never had a victim mentality. He was a victor, and so are you, my menders!
Keep going! I know it can be hard. Life sure has been trying to beat us down. It’s easy to only focus on the losses when it seems we have lost so much, and sometimes it happens so fast too. But, I am learning the more daily practices I use to ground myself, the less these circumstances can really sway me. Love has to be our anchor.
Welp, I will continue this thought next week.
Until next time,
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