We all wear glasses. These are the “lens” through which we see life. From this vision (or lack of) we then explain the circumstances which swirl around us. In times of great trials, it’s easy to allow our lens to become the darkest of sunglasses. We tell ourselves things like, “God has something against me. God doesn’t see what I am going through. God doesn’t care.” So, how we see life is how we explain it to ourselves and others. Consider Joseph. As a 17-year-old he was sold as a slave…by his own brothers! He was uprooted from his family and homeland, forced into slavery and imprisonment for 13 years…as a forgotten nobody. But, God was with Joseph! When the time was right, God exalted him to second in command to Pharaoh! As I read this amazing story, I wonder how Joseph looked through his “glasses” at his 13 years as a slave. Was he bitter? Did he try to block this out and never think about it. Did he comfort himself with visions of “getting even”? The answer came when his brothers arrived in Egypt to buy food. After some episodes of interesting drama, Joseph revealed himself to his shocked brothers—the very ones who sold him into slavery. If this story was produced by Hollywood, the ending would show Joseph killing most of his brothers and sending the others into the deepest dungeon to rot in slow deaths. Is this what happened? To be sure, his brothers were scared to death of Joseph’s revenge. But, to their amazement, Joseph said to them, “Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you…. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God” (Genesis 45:5, 8). Wow! Joseph chose to be blind to revenge. He refused to put on the dark shades. Instead he saw his life and everything that happened to him through the lens of faith in God. What does this say to us? Instead of complaining and looking at life in the worst possible way, can we ask God for grace to see through faith? Can we believe that the future will reveal that God is working behind the scenes even in the drama and “unfair” crises of life…in order to bring about ultimate good? The same Spirit in Joseph can be in us. May the Lord grant us eyes to see beyond the pain of the moment and to believe He is working all things together for good!
Pastor Mark Boucher