“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. . .”
Genesis 45:5, 7-8a
Regardless of what’s happening in our lives, we still must say “God is good” (Ps. 73:1a)—and hopefully someone else nearby will add “All the time.”
When we look at our lives through natural eyes and human reasoning, we simply cannot see “the Big Picture.” Oh, we may grow philosophical and wax eloquently “Oh, it’s simply a part of the Grand Scheme of things;” but such stoical analysis and positive thinking do little to comfort a grief-stricken heart and perplexed mind in “the dark night of the soul.”
Joseph couldn’t understand why he was going through what he did (Gen. 37:1-36; 39:1-41:1a). But, later on the pieces began to fall into place when his brothers came to Egypt to buy food and “he remembered his dreams” (42:9a; 37:5-11). How wonderful it is when God allows us to see things from His Perspective and how the seemingly disjointed pieces of our puzzle fit in perfectly together in His Divine Plan.
When we realize “the Lord is with us” (Gen. 39:2a, 3a, 21a, 23b), we refuse to allow “the root of bitterness to spring up within us and many thereby are defiled” (Heb. 12:15). This can only happen when we realize God allows our “painful puzzle pieces” for a reason and we choose to “give thanks in all things” (I Thess. 5:18) and we “forgive others as we are forgiven by God” (Mt. 6:12, 14-15).
Notice again what Joseph said:
“For God did send me.”
Even though God did not cause Joseph’s brothers to sell him. . .Potiphar’s wife to falsely accuse him and have him thrown in prison. . .and the butler to “forget him a full two years” (Gen. 40:23-41:1a). . .He still allowed him to go through them. And, Joseph realized it was for a purpose: “To preserve a posterity for them and save their lives by a great deliverance.” He also realized it was to ensure His Promises to Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3; 13:14-17; 15:4-6; 17:15-16, 19-20) would not fail.
It was this same assurance of his place in God’s Plan that enabled him to reassure his fearful, guilt-ridden brothers after Jacob’s death by saying “Fear not—for am I in the place of God? But, as for you, you thought evil against me—but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now, therefore, fear not; I will nourish you and your little ones” (Gen. 50:19-21).
How wonderful it is to know God has a plan for our lives and will do everything in His Power to help us implement it. The only thing that’ll hinder Him is our unbelief (Mt. 13:58). May the Holy Spirit help us today to release any painful “puzzle pieces from the past” into His loving Hands (I Pet. 5:7) and then move on by forgiving, forgetting and “giving thanks in all things” (I Thess. 5:18). Truly, in Christ, “the best is yet to be!” Amen and amen.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated September 22, 2009