Today’s apple slice comes from Genesis 50:19-21 in the Message version.
19-21 Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid. Do I act for God? Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people. Easy now, you have nothing to fear; I’ll take care of you and your children.” He reassured them, speaking with them heart-to-heart.
Joseph had every right to have have his brothers jailed or even killed, from a human perspective. Isn’t that what you would do? “You dare show your faces here, after everything you put me through?!” That’s probably something along the lines of what I’d say if I were in Joseph’s position (and if I wasn’t covered by God’s grace). Notice that nothing like those words escaped Joseph’s lips. As a matter of fact, just the opposite occurred.
Joseph couldn’t have been kinder to his once-treacherous brothers. His brothers had once plotted, schemed, and devised Joseph’s immediate (and what they considered, permanent) removal from their lives. Now, they stood before Joseph, wondering what judgment the would receive. How shocked they must have been to receive mercy, provision, love, and forgiveness! (And isn’t the story of Joseph eerily similar to the role Jesus plays in our own lives? We make every attempt to make it on our own; yet, in the end, we need Him.)
When you are going through troubled times (if you haven’t, you will; we all do), keep going. Don’t drown in despair. Don’t throw in the towel. Don’t give up. Keep persevering! There’s a pretty good chance God will use whatever you’re going through for good. Take hope. Even if the good to come seems in the far-off future, remember that “Rome wasn’t built in day.” Be patient. The good is on its way.