I’m convinced that God wants to hurt me. Sometimes I just hate Him!

Businessman waiting with luggage, head in hands

I love stories.  Those that talk straight to the heart. And there’s this rather interesting story of a guy named Joseph found in the very first book of the bible, Genesis. It’s a bit of a lengthy story, so we’ll jump through it quickly as their is an incredible truth waiting for us at the end…

Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, was falsely accused of rape and left in prison for 13 years probably wondering where God was his whole life.  You might wonder where God is too at times…

– Maybe you’ve been looking for the perfect mate only to be let down over and over again…

– Waiting for the “perfect job” and it always seems to slip through your fingers… and it just did again…

– Looking to land that big business deal and it never seems to happen…and you just lost another one…

– You’re having a hard time paying your rent…and you just got served a notice to vacate…

Why do all these terrible things happen?  The bigger questions is this, “Where the heck is God when we cry out to Him over and over and over and over???”

There was a terrible famine in the land and although Joseph was stuck in a very dark place, God still spoke to him.  He was led by God to tell Pharaoh to build storehouses of grain as a great famine was about to hit the region in seven short years.  Because Joseph listened to God and spoke with Pharaoh of the impending doom, Joseph rose to great prominence and became the governor over all of Egypt.

Joseph’s brothers made their way to Egypt as their family was starving due to the famine. They had no idea that their brother Joseph was the head over all of Egypt. As far as they knew, he was dead at this point in time. As they approached the palace, Joseph recognized his brothers and was in absolute anguish over seeing them again. The emotions must have been a roller-coaster ride. Anger, sadness, bitterness, the list is probably endless.  It’s the kind of emotions that tell you what could have been.  Seeing his brothers is like you…

– Looking into the face of the person that just took your job…

– Watching the people move into the home you just foreclosed on…

– Seeing the drunk driver that killed your son having coffee with a friend and laughing away as if nothing ever happened…

They are painful reminders that never seem to take the edge off , much less deal a death blow to our hurtful circumstances.  None the less, we are left holding this bitter luggage of pain and emptiness wondering where God is and why He’s completely abandoned us.  But the story goes on…

Joseph was ultimately able to free his family from the famine and reconcile their broken relationship, but it came at a cost.  The cost of realizing something that most of us don’t like to face.  Let’s see what happened in the end.

“But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.” ~Genesis 45:5-8

Is that not crazy?  God sent him to the prison.  God allowed him to be falsely accused.  God let him suffer for 13 years before giving him any sort of hope for a future.  And yes, God ordained Joseph’s entire life for the sole purpose of saving the family line of Abraham.

Friends, God has some great plans for you and I, but in our shortsightedness and frankly our downright selfishness, we often pass over the great blessings headed our way because we’re stuck in believing that where we are at is exactly where God had planned for us to be.  Let me say that in another way.  Your current situation may be exactly what God intended for your life.  Think deeply about that for a moment.

Where are you at right now?  What struggles or difficulties are you in the midst of at this very moment?  Are you willing to endure patiently for 13 years and serve God faithfully even if your pain increases?

Those are tough questions and a tall order to follow.  Sounds to me like what it might look like to “take up your cross.”

Be patient friends.  Allow God to be God in your situation.  Look eternally at things, not temporally.  God might just be waiting for you to wait on Him.  He’s got incredible plans and, He loves you…

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