“Now, therefore, be not grieved nor angry with yourselves, that you sold me hither—for God did send me before you to preserve life. . .And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So, now, it was not you that sent me hither, but God—and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his house and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.”
Genesis 45:5, 7-8
Solitary experiences may seem disjointed and dysfunctional for now, but later on we’ll look back and see God’s Hand in them all as we commit them to Him.
Anyone who’s ever worked on a jigsaw puzzle knows how challenging it is—especially when it’s a big one with 2,000 pieces or more. Corner pieces are easy to find because of their shape. And, those with similar colors and patterns are also more recognizable than others.
But, then the work begins.
Slowly we begin trying to match up the pieces—first by shape and then by shades of color. We find a piece that looks perfect, but it won’t fit into the hole. So, we keep looking and keep trying. Sometimes we grow frustrated and threaten to dump the whole thing in the garbage; but, we back away, do something else for a while and come back again for another go-round, intent on finishing the puzzle.
And, slowly, but surely, the pieces fall into place and soon we’re down to a handful, which are usually inserted into the right spot by eager hands. Then, we step back, smile, take a deep breath and say “Yes! It’s finished!” and want to show someone else the “fruits of our labor.”
No doubt there was a time in Joseph’s life before he spoke today’s Manna when he wondered why everything was turning up bitterweeds for him. He couldn’t help the fact that he was born into a dysfunctional family; neither did he really do anything to his 10 half-brothers that deserved the treatment they gave him (Gen. 37:18-36). And, he certainly wasn’t guilty of the charges levied against him by Potiphar’s leering, lustful wife (39:1-23).
But, through it all, Joseph clung to his Godly posterity by remembering how his ancestors (Seth, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) had been used by God in the past. Although imperfect sinners like him, Joseph knew the same One Who guided them would also be with him in everything he was going through.
Thankfully, the “God of all mercy” gave him insight through hindsight (42:9a), which showed him how the Lord was using each experience in his life (though very painful) to preserve his family and promises to Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3; 17:1-8). Although God didn’t cause his brothers to sell him. . .Potiphar’s wife to falsely accuse him. . .and the butler to forget him (40:1-41:1a). . . He still used them to place him in a strategic position in His eternal Plan.
Dear Pilgrim, you may not have a Godly heritage as Joseph did; however, He can break generational “cycles of sin” in your life if you let Him. By surrendering to Him daily, He will “prosper you in all that you do” (39:2-5, 21-23) and help you begin a new posterity for those who follow you. Why not stop and thank Him right now for using everything in your life to weave a beautiful tapestry and create a magnificent mosaic with your life?
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Date August 24, 2009