Intro… Years ago, I watched two partners have a business meeting. One partner had invited the other into the business and now the partner who had been invited into the business was in essence trying to squeeze the other out. The partner who had been squeezed out had invited me to come along to the meeting as a witness because he had intentions of retaking his business and kicking the other partner out. But somewhere in the midst of the negotiations, the original partner paused and stepped out of the meeting. Later he came back into the meeting and gave up the business. He had put Isaac on the altar. Taking back the business was not worth losing his relationship with his brother and business partner. You heard me right – his partner was his younger brother, so he gave it up. The older brother turned the other cheek and let his dream go.
Time passed, the older brother struggled with his decision of letting the business go almost every day, but he trudged on running another business he operated across the alley from his brother and former partner. Finally, through a series of events, the younger brother had to file bankruptcy and in the process lost the business. The owner of the building where the business was located and who had originally asked the older brother to operate the business to begin with came back to the older brother once again offered him the location back. He took it.
End of story, right? Redemption? Yes, but much more than that. In the process of giving up his coveted partnership, my friend, rededicated himself to God and his family. From seldom attending church, he began attending every Sunday and helps out in our worship. Then God gave him his business back. So who got the better end of the deal? I would say God got his servant back – and a family, its Spiritual leader. Are things perfect? I doubt it. But it has been one heck of a story…a story of letting go and getting back…a story of suffering and redemption…a story of God’s amazing grace.
Ever had something like this happen to you? You gave up something you really wanted, and in time, God gave it back to you? How is this? Why is this? Why do you think God has built a time lag in between planting and harvesting? Between the cause and the effect? Is there anything like this going on in your life right now? A cause with seemingly no affect? Pain and no reward? Joseph’s story has a lot to say about this…
Recently, we began a new unit or section or person of study…the life of Joseph. Essentially, the story of Joseph, is for the most part, our story. Chosen by God for a special purpose, Joseph must first endure much suffering and injustice before arriving at his God-ordained purpose and calling, and what a purpose it will be.
As we read, I want you to continue pondering, your special identity in Christ, and that just because you may be going through difficult days, your suffering…your waiting is NOT in vain. As God’s child…as God’s children, just as with Joseph and his brothers, you…we…all have a purpose in Christ (Romans 8; Eph. 1; 1 Peter 1).
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