“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20
The single sentence found in Genesis 50:20 in essence sums up the story of the Bible from beginning to end. The man that said these words was named Joseph. He grew up in one of the most dysfunctional families in history. Joseph was his father’s favorite of his 12 sons. His dad gave him the finest clothes. He also made him supervisor over his brothers. To top it all off, God gave Joseph a dream to let him know that one day he would rule over his brothers and his father. The more Joseph bragged, the angrier his brothers became.
What unfolded next is like something out of a Liam Neeson movie. The jealousy and hatred of Joseph’s brothers had become deeply rooted in their hearts. They devised a plan to rid themselves of him forever. They stripped Joseph of the beloved coat their father had given him, and smeared it with animal blood. Then, these brothers did the unthinkable…they sold their younger brother to slave traders headed to Egypt for 20 pieces of silver. They returned home with the horrifying story that a wild animal had killed Joseph. Their father, Jacob, was devastated. The brothers thought they were finally rid of Joseph forever. But, God…
Joseph’s story went from bad to worse. He went from that dark pit, to slavery, to a false rape allegation, to prison, and hadn’t done one thing wrong. But God had plans for Joseph…plans beyond his wildest expectations. After interpreting dreams in prison, Joseph was called to interpret the dream of Pharaoh. After doing so, Pharaoh busted Joseph right out of prison and hired him to be his right-hand man. Just like that, Joseph went from being a prisoner to the Prime Minister of Egypt.
Years later, Joseph’s life came full circle and he once again ended up face to face with his brothers. The same brothers who sold him to human traffickers, which led to slavery, false accusations, and imprisonment. Joseph had every right to be angry. He had the power to do away with his brothers. But Joseph was able to see that what his brothers meant for harm, God meant for good. He was able to forgive and extend grace. At the sight of his brothers he was overwhelmed with love instead of revenge. Only God…
No matter what life brings our way, there is always a “But, God…” in our story. We must only choose to see it and embrace it, just like Joseph did.
Dear Lord, I know that you are sovereign, and that you are never out of control. In the midst of the difficult circumstances I'm facing right now, help me to look for the "But, God..." in my story. Give me the strength to remember that you are my only hope in every situation I may face. Amen.
Topics: Trials and Tribulations