The story of Joseph in the Old Testament (Genesis 37 – 50) is one of the most captivating in all of Scripture! Jealous older brothers sold him to a slave trader headed for Egypt, then went back and told their father a wild animal had killed Joseph. In Egypt Joseph was wrongly accused of rape and spent year’s in prison. Miraculously, he was brought out of prison and became second in power in all of Egypt! Later his brothers show up looking to buy food to take back to their famine-stricken families. They don’t recognize Joseph. But Joseph recognizes them.
If anyone has a right to be filled with bitterness, rage, and envy towards his family… it would be Joseph! But that wasn’t Joseph’s response. Instead, he welcomes and takes care of his family, saving them from starving during the famine. Why? Joseph said it this way to his brothers.
“You planned something bad for me, but God produced something good from it, in order to save the lives of many people.” (Genesis 50:20, CEB).
Peter Scazarro shares that “Joseph had a profound sense of the bigness of God… Joseph understood that in all things God is a work, in spite of, though, and against all human effort, to orchestrate his (God’s) purposes.” This allowed Joseph to rest in God’s goodness and love, even when things go from bad to worse, (Peter Scazarro, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, p. 93).
When things go south in life, our thinking is often too small… especially when we think about God’s role in our struggle, pain, or loss? How often do we focus only on our negative circumstances, how that’s affecting us, and on what we’re going to do about it?
My prayer is that my thinking, and yours, will be bigger, rather than smaller.