Sunday, December 25, 2016

Nothing Wasted, 1: Family Problems

“But Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives’” (Genesis 50:19‭-‬20, NIV).

Joseph’s brothers were more than anxious. They were terrified, and they had every natural right to be so. There father, who had been their safety net all of these years had died, and there was nothing or no one that was standing between them and the brother they had once scorned who now set in the second highest seat of power in a foreign land. These brothers had mocked and abused their younger brother, Joseph, for his dreams of grandeur. They allowed personal jealousy and animosity to choke out any hint of brotherly affection. Joseph, to them, had ceased being a brother, and instead, had become an inconvenient problem that needed a solution. Joseph had been beaten and left for dead, only to be rescued and sold for profit. 

God, however, had a plan for Joseph that would, in fact, use every thing that had been used against him, FOR him. God took Joseph from the pit to profit, at least was the thought of his brothers. From the profit he was sold to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s guard, where he was unduly charged with a crime he didn’t commit. Out from Potiphar and into prison, Joseph was left abandoned and still innocent. Yet from prison, God elevated Joseph to the palace where only the king was higher than he. Joseph’s response to his brothers upon their father’s death was not one of built up hurt or resentment, but one that understood that God used all he had faced in his life as a road map to bring him to where he was at that point. God was using Joseph to save the many life of Egypt and the surrounding country from a famine that was ravaging the lands, all because someone had tried to destroy him.

As I look into the past of my own life, I can see the fingerprints of God in so many places. When it felt as though I was being abandoned or abused, God was there. At moments on the timeline, I have had to make the choice of whether or not I was going to allow the pain and the bitterness to become the focus of my life, or was I going to surrender it to God and allow Him to redeem those lost moments and transform them into a purpose that would far succeed the potential destruction. The word “intended” is a Hebrew word that means to “weave” or to “fabricate.” The enemy has used many people in my life to fabricate destruction in the moments of my life. Each one of those moments carried with them a certain amount of pain, confusion, discouragement, and fear. It was in those blips on the timeline when I questioned the value or the worth of my life. Whether it was the abandonment of my father or the dysfunction in my home, here was much chaos that had the potential to lead me in a direction that God had not called me. Yet, the grace of God is my strength. 

I know that with every intention of the enemy to hijack the purpose, value, and calling that God has placed upon my life, God has repossessed and restored. God has been fabricating my destiny from before the time any human mind had conceived of my existence. He has been weaving the plan of the enemy into the fabric of my life in such a way that actually uses it for my God in order to position me right where He wants me. I know that I know that I know that God does work all things that I have faced in my life for my good, because it is according to His purpose and plan for me.

"Lord Jesus, I do thank You for all You are and for all that You have brought me through. There is nothing that is wasted in my life. Every moment that I might think doesn’t matter is a part of the greater plan that You have, not just for my life, but to work through my life to reach and to touch and to transform the pain into purpose into the lives of many others. I pray that You continue to give me the strength to face each new day with anticipation of how You will use it for my good, for Your glory, and for the benefit of those around me. I know that You have a plan and I am not afraid of what You may allow me to face in order to bring that plan into full motion. You are God, and I trust You. I have seen Your hand at work in my life, and I’m not about to get in the way, again, now. You are the masterful designer, and I am more than thrilled to see the unveiling and unfolding of your work of art in and through my life. Thank You for loving me. It’s in the name of Jesus I pray, Amen."

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