Fellowship at Cross Creek
Snake-bit! When All Seems Against Me!
Intro… We all have the propensity egocentrically, to prematurely interpret events, experiences and outcomes. We think we know where this is headed. We are losing again, which means we WILL lose again? Or does it?
When everything seems to be going wrong, have any of you played the game where you associate your current dilemma to your past, as if God is punishing you for former sins or indiscretions? If so, why, as humans, do we tend to do this—connect the present to the past? Aren’t we looking for answers? How could this many bad things go wrong at about the same time? I must be being punished for something in my past, or why else would everything be going so wrong now?
Most all of us have played some version of this game? But in reality, that is just the way life is sometimes. Our view of one big thing affects our viewpoint of everything else. I call it the “addition principle.” If one important thing goes well, then we view ten other marginal things through the lens of that one good thing, but if one important thing goes bad, we see those same ten other things as negative because they contained elements of both good and bad. The key was the one event that went well or not so well. It becomes a filter for everything else.
And yet, there are times, such as in the case of Job, or even Joseph, when lots of things are going bad over time, and ironically, there is an element of divine madness or purpose in what we are going through. In this story, Joseph’s brothers now feel they are snake-bit. Nothing is going right. They have no idea that the brother they betrayed so many years ago is pulling many of the strings that appear to be going so wrong for them, or that even on a grander scale, God, in a way, none of us really understands, was pulling the strings all along. So now, when things are going not so good, it must be because of what we did to our brother so long ago. Well, kinda yes, but NOT in the way they were thinking. Isn’t that what’s so wonderful about God. There just may be a connection between events from our past to our present, but NOT in the way we think. As Romans 8 teaches, could God be using everything in our lives, both good and bad, to conform us into the image of his Son? So, it’s NOT whether something is good or bad that really makes the difference, but how do we seek out the God of the Universe to help us deal or cope with what does not seem clear or purposeful in the moment. Such is the story, or at least another chapter in that story, with which we explore within this “exposing” passage of Scripture.
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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