We’re all familiar with the story of Joseph, how his brothers kidnapped him and sold him into slavery. We’ve all tried to imagine the horror that Joseph must have gone through. But have we ever stopped to try and put ourselves in the shoes of Joseph’s father?
Joseph was, after all, Jacob’s favorite son, the oldest son of his favorite, and now departed, wife, Rachel. The Bible gives us some hints into Jacob’s reaction later in the book of Genesis, when we see his staunch refusal to allow Benjamin to return to Egypt with his brothers: “My son will not go down there with you, for his brother is dead and he alone is left. If an accident happens to him on the journey you have to make, then you will bring down my gray hair in sorrow to the grave.” (Gen 42:38, NET)
Can you blame him? After all, it would be hard to lose any child! I can only imagine how Jacob must have prayed and pleaded with God to bring Joseph back to him safe and sound, that the story of the 10 older brothers was somehow not true.
Did Jacob ever imagine that Joseph might become ruler in Egypt? Did he ever imagine that God might keep Joseph in Egypt for a purpose?
Just what was that purpose? In Joseph’s own words: “God sent me ahead of you to preserve you on the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” (Gen 45:7, NET)!
When bad things happen, all we can see is how bad things look. What we don’t see is what God is doing in the background. We don’t see that our “Joseph” is actually safe and sound and that God is using our bad situation to prepare a great deliverance.
This was just a one-time event, you say?
I don’t think so. Hundreds of years later, a humble shepherd boy penned these words: “You are my source of strength. I will wait for you! For God is my refuge. The God who loves me will help me; God will enable me to triumph over my enemies.” (Ps 59:9,10, NET)
Whatever bad thing is happening in your life today, don’t wish it away. Don’t even pray it away. Instead, watch for God. Wait for Him. Know that somehow He is using your bad situation to prepare a great deliverance, for God is your refuge! He, the One who loves you, will help you. He will enable you to triumph over your enemies!
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries.