Monday, February 29: Genesis 43- Life in its ups and downs.

So today we read again of brothers meeting after REAL problems. First we had Jacob and Esau and now Joseph meeting his brothers years after they sold him into slavery…

How many of life’s issues, I wondered, involve family problems? Sin just gums up the works!

There is definite nervousness by the brothers in coming back to Egypt. They don’t know Joseph is their brother but from the previous encounter they are wondering if this is God’s judgment on them for what they did to Joseph.

I wonder what it is like living with the silent guilt all those years.

Joseph, on the other hand, has had the time between meeting one and two to decide how he would treat them if they return. Will forgiveness or retribution reign? The account seems to favor forgiveness, but the story line could go either way at this point.

Stewing over things can be an uncomfortable place in life. Sometimes grace prevails, sometimes not. I think of the ‘Hatfield and McCoy’ feud in West Virginia lore. It began in 1863 and raged until 1891 and lingered until 1901! 30+ years of violence and bloodshed. Lots of brooding and trying to get even or ahead.

Like I said, sometimes brooding and stewing over things does not lead to good. But at times it does.

Esau apparently got over his resentment of Jacob during Jacob’s years of absence. And Joseph was able to let go of any grudge he may have harbored.

I don’t know how these men got past their hurts.  However, as I look into my own life, I recognize that for me the most important element is to let God work in my life.

When I am hurt and start to brood and stew, I can and do go to ugly places. As the hurts emerge I try to hand them over to the Lord. This isn’t generally easy or quick, but I work at it. Sometimes I need to share my goings on with a trusted Christ-following friend, sometimes I can go it alone. Letting God work in ME is the most important step. Over time God’s grace in me overlays my hurt and pain and desire for revenge.  When things are best I ultimately can extend grace to the one who hurt me.

Each time I go through this it is different, but laying things at God’s feet and allowing God to work in ME is the key to grace-filled resolution.

Stuff happens… but God’s way can prevail if we allow and invite God into our healing process.

Well, this is where I traveled today as I mused on Joseph’s story.

Where did you go?

Lord, thank You for being available to take my pains and overly grace upon them. Sometimes they continue to hurt, but Your grace is bigger than any of my hurts. That is one thing I have learned during my years with You. Thank You and bless You. Through Jesus, I pray. Amen.


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