Sold by his jealous brothers into Egyptian slavery, jailed on false rape charges, and forgotten by one who could help, Joseph, favored son of Isaac, absorbed the suffering. He let that suffering humble his heart. In humility, he accepted that his story is a small part of a God-sized story.
After years in jail, God placed him second in power to the Pharaoh. When his brothers came to him to buy grain in a long famine, he could have refused. But humility allowed grace: “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
Rather than assert his rights to liberty and a pursuit of happiness, Joseph was willing to step outside his own story and see himself from a God’s-eye-view. In that view, his pain furthered God’s purpose.
In a culture addicted to complaining (I’m guilty), we need a Joseph kind of humble wisdom. A wisdom that looks at the largest possible context, the eternal context, before making a final judgement about our own injustices.
Our pain is important and must be taken seriously. It must also be put in the context of the eternal story, lest it overwhelm us. Only then will we be able to give the grace Joseph gave to his brothers.
What part of your story do you need to put into God’s context?
Wisdom, objectivity, humility. Father, we need you to grow these fruits in our hearts. For your glory. Amen.