June 15, 2008
When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "What if Joseph bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him!"
So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, "Your father charged before he died, saying,
'Thus you shall say to Joseph, "Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong."' And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father." And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
Then his brothers also came and fell down before him and said, "Behold, we are your servants."
But Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in God's place?
"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
"So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones." So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
We may never know the reason why some things happen. A friend is killed in a senseless auto accident; a loved one suffers with a terminal illness; a child dies from a rare, incurable disease. We wonder how any good could possibly come from such heartache.
There are times when God reveals the purpose for our suffering. Other times He doesn't. In those hidden times our faith is tested and stretched.
Jesus knew the will of the Father. He understood that pain and suffering were part of the plan. Yet He cried from the cross: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matt. 27:46). For one brief moment in time, Jesus felt all the emotions that we feel in tragedy—loneliness, fear, confusion, abandonment.
That is why He tells us to come to Him when our hearts are breaking, when fear has absorbed us, when we don't know how we will face tomorrow, when all within us wants to question His judgment. He understands our hurt; He personally knows our pain.
There is a mystery to tragedy, but it is not mysterious to Jesus. He knows the plan. He may not always provide all the answers you want to hear, but He promises never to leave you alone in the midst of the trial. Call out to Him, my friend; He is listening.
Heavenly Father, when I feel lonely, fearful, confused, or abandoned, help me remember that You are no stranger to these emotions. You personally know my pain. I am so thankful that I am never alone in the midst of my trials.