Sent by God
“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God.” –Genesis 45:8
Family disagreements are nothing new, are they? They’re just not usually as extreme as the one that led eventually to Joseph’s loud, wailing reconciliation with the very brothers who had sold him into slavery, way back when.
It usually takes time for problems to escalate within a family or friendship, doesn’t it? I read a magazine article recently that reported how the last four years in politics has led to “frayed ties” within families. The reporter writes, “A lot of people have quietly blocked family members on social media, speak sadly of siblings or grandparents with whom they surreptitiously try to avoid spending time, and they worry that talking about it will further inflame the feud.” (Time Magazine, Jan. 21, 2021)
As far as we know from scripture, Joseph didn’t have or take the opportunity to get the problems with his brothers out on the table before they sold him into slavery. And many people believe his behavior paved the way for their contempt. But he had plenty of opportunity once he arrived in Egypt to talk to God about his situation. So much so, that when the time came for his brothers to stand before him, he was overcome with the realization that it was God all along who had sent him to Egypt.
I wonder how many family arguments could be settled if we could see Jesus standing with us in the room. Would we be more apt to listen first and weigh our words carefully before speaking? Would we try harder to see the other person’s point of view? Joseph conquered a world of hurt and found the way to forgiveness and reconciliation with his brothers. No matter what relationship problems come our way, let that be our goal too, okay?