So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me please.” And he said to them, “I am Joseph whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.” Genesis 45:4-5 ESV
Too often the unknown stories of residents in long term care are the wounds left behind by unresolved family differences. But the good news is that God isn’t finished with any of us yet. Remember that as a young boy, Joseph had a dream which got him into trouble with his brothers. Some of us probably think of Joseph’s life as a blueprint for success. We figure that if we can just stick it out like Joseph did, then one day we will get the great job, the big home or the perfect marriage that we always dreamed of. But the story behind Joseph’s problem was his father’s favoritism and because of it the hatred that his brothers had towards him. But then God intervened.
God’s dream for Joseph was not about his becoming rich powerful or successful. God’s intention was for Joseph and his family to discover that the greatest treasure of all was forgiveness and reconciliation. Though we can never undo our past, we can find a way forward by learning to forgive, accept and allow God to restore us. The separation of anger, distance or even death can be bridged because on the cross Jesus gave his life so that ours could be restored. This morning’s news is that no matter our memories of past hurts or sorrows; God can heal and through forgiveness discover His greatest purpose is love.
We were driving through Brooklyn looking for the way over to Manhattan. My step father hated asking for directions so with my mother’s help he headed towards the Empire state building which we could see clearly above the small buildings around us. The only problem was that we finally ran out of roads at the East river because he had not counted on having to cross the bridge! We shouldn’t laugh too much at him though because in the same way we are all trying to get to heaven but forget that there is a bridge to carry us over and only one: our Lord Jesus Christ!
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all Isaiah 53:6 ESV
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.” John Milton
On sleepless nights we may struggle with helplessness, regret and despair like Milton as he penned these lines. As we grow older it sometimes seems that our own hopes and goals are further away than ever. But when we feel most alone, we must remind ourselves that God will never forget us. To wait in faith and hope and stand when all appears lost is service enough to God. He remembers the wounds of our Savior and by His blood gives to us the true peace that will keep our hearts when everything else has fallen!
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed Isaiah 53:5
Love this clip because it shows people praying in all kinds of ordinary situations that we all face. This was banned from cinemas in the United Kingdom. I think that now even more people will watch it! Be blessed!