I recently purchased towing mirrors for my truck because I use it to tow my camper and I need to be able to see the traffic around me as well as the sides of the road, etc… They are so big that they are somewhat distracting. In fact it has taken me a few weeks to get used to them. Sometimes the rear view mirror is really helpful to going forward. I can sometimes see who or what is racing up behind me. I can also learn from what has happened in my life’s rear view mirror. In fact that’s the mirror I look into a lot.
Joseph’s rear view mirror is full of a bunch of crazy experiences. His brothers, because of the jealousy and envy, sold Joseph as a slave into Egypt. He was sold again to Potiphar’s household where Potiphar’s wife (aka “Hotiphar”) seduced him, but he refused to sleep with her. He was then falsely accused by her and thrown into prison for a few years before interpreting Pharaoh’s dream that landed him a “dream job”! After preparing for the 7 years of famine, he is the manager of the food-dispensing project and his brothers who had sold him into slavery come to buy food. He doesn’t reveal who he is, but he sure knows who they are. On the second trip to Egypt, he can’t hold his identity back any longer. Check this out….
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Come close to me.’ When they had done so, he said, ‘I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, 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. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no ploughing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
8 ‘So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. (Genesis 45:4-8 NIV)
I can only imagine the feeling that his brothers had upon learning who this ruler of Egypt really was. He could so have “paid them back” for what they did to him. He had forgiveness in his voice. It was obvious that he had forgiven them many years ago and the fruit of this forgiveness was fellowship, friendship and family restoration. The stellar character of Joseph blows me away. His belief in God and God’s provision for him, made it possible for perspective and forgiveness. Check this out…
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)
I believe God used the bad things that happened to Joseph for good.
I believe God could have taken care of the famine another way if He chose; or not even allowed a famine.
I believe God really reveals something of Himself in this historical account. He is committed to the family of Jacob and He can work through any circumstance to accomplish His will.
As I reflect on my journey – the ups and the downs; the pain and struggles – otherwise known as transitions, I can so see how God made good come out of my struggles. He doesn’t always avert trouble; He just guides me through it. I do like for life to be easy, but I learn more about Him when life is hard. I do trust Him and so I’ll face today with no worries about what I’ll face because when tomorrow comes, today will be in the rear view mirror!