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. Genesis 45:5
Listen: Genesis 45
Joseph started out the son of a shepherd in Canaan. He ended up as second in command in Egypt—a world superpower. It was not easy. His path to success was marked by pain, betrayal and loneliness. Sold by his brothers into slavery, wrongfully imprisoned in Egypt and forgotten for dead, Joseph had every opportunity to view himself as a victim. We might ask this question, “Joseph, what do you do with that kind of pain?”
Joseph’s story comes full circle when his brothers show up on his doorstep looking for grain amidst a widespread famine. Instead of exacting vengeance on his brothers, he acknowledges God’s sovereignty over his life saying, “Do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you” (Genesis 45:5b). He saw God working in, through and around his terrible situations.
We all have circumstances we don’t want and didn’t choose. God is working in, through and around all of our challenging circumstances—even the most severe situations. In the moment, the pain of a situation can be debilitating. A cancer diagnosis, job loss or a wayward child are extremely painful seasons. God doesn’t cause our pain, but he is powerful enough to work through it.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Begin your week with a prayer of openness toward God. You might pray something like this: “Dear God, I didn’t choose this situation I’m walking through today and I certainly don’t want it. But I pray you would help me to stay dependent upon you. I ask that you would work in, through and around my pain for your glory and for my good.”
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.