We come to the end of Genesis. We also come to yet another principle that is introduced first here, and then expounded on as the Scriptures continue to be written. I mentioned this briefly a couple chapters ago already. There is the New Testament verse: Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Most assuredly, Joseph had been called by God to save his family from the famine. Without a shadow of a doubt, Joseph was marked for a position of leadership above his entire household as evidenced by the dreams he had dreamed that drove his brothers bats and affronted his own father. Years later, those dreams would indeed come to pass. Years later, what had affronted his father and insulted his brothers would become reality and they would find themselves eternally grateful for his position in the land of Egypt. Their jealousy and anger were used as tools to get Joseph where he needed to be in God’s plan for his life and theirs. It was a rough and difficult journey that I’m sure did not make sense to him at times, but Joseph proved to be very trusting toward God and His designs for his life.
People today may be mistreating you, misusing you, and sending you into difficult and trying situations completely against your will. At the same time, you may have visions or dreams of what God has in store for you and those dreams seem to be going the opposite direction from where life currently has you headed. As I mentioned a few chapters ago, sometimes the way up is down. There will be times when God is working behind the scenes in the midst of everything apparently going wrong. Believe it or not, those things had to go wrong in order for God to position people and situations to bring you to where He wants you to be.
This isn’t an easy lesson for us living in modern times. Somehow we have it in our heads that when God leads us a certain direction, that the going will be smooth. We even pray for the way to be made straight and for obstacles in our path to be removed. After going through the book of Genesis, I wonder if we hamstring ourselves with such prayers. It may have been that the crooked path and the obstacles were placed there to strengthen us, to teach us, and to prepare us to a greater degree than if the way was plain and unhindered. Whether we like it or not, it is in the struggle that we grow, mature, receive pruning, and become who God wants us to be for His glory.
This is why when hard times come, we shouldn’t immediately be shaking our fist at God or others around us. It’s not an easy decision to make, but when we can get to the point where we ask God in the struggle, “So what lesson are we learning this time?”, we then come to that place where God is freed to do a greater work in our lives. There are times when I need to ask God to show me how to use the current winds of adversity to spread my wings and fly above the storm. Other times, I am asking God to help me find the eye of the storm so that I can find peace and rest while it rages around me. In both prayers, I am telling God that I recognize His hand in my situation and His heart to see me grow and mature in my relationship with Him, but that I can’t achieve those goals on my own, I need His help. Life is not an easy road for me, hasn’t been for quite some time. But life has also been quite the adventure! The christian life for me has been anything but boring even when sitting at my desk as I interact with the world online. Stephen Curtis Chapman has an old song called, “The Great Adventure”. Adventures have high-flying moments, deep-ravine moments, clashes and skirmishes with the enemy, and amazingly peaceful meadows and awe-inspiring vistas. There are struggles and triumphs, joy and sadness. But guess who wins in the end? Those who are found hidden in Christ!
Therefore, it doesn’t matter what the world throws at us. It doesn’t matter what family throws at us. What matters is our attitude toward those scenarios and how we choose to deal with them. What the world might not understand, and what family may miss in the process of their behaviour, is that God can take what they may have meant for ill, and use it for good, not only in your life, but whether they realize it or not, in their lives as well.
Someone out there needs to know that there is hope in their situation. It isn’t all about them, although it sure feels like it right now. Time for a perspective shift. Ask God what the landscape looks like from His perspective. Ask for wings to fly above the storm where there is peace while it rages below. God has this all under control. The underside of the tapestry looks like a total mess right now, with black and dark threads running all over the place. But those threads are defining the various areas of a vast and gorgeous tapestry on the other side. As some are fond of saying, trust God, He’s got this!