Wednesday, February 18, 2015

how to not get punched

This Sunday Caz talked about open and closed doors, and seeing God’s perspective.  In our limited understanding it’s hard to see this accurately. If I was chased out of town by people ready to stone me, I would see that as a closed door. Paul did not. Joseph was able to see the open door in feeding his brothers in famine even though they sold him into slavery. I really like that Caz spoke to the fact that even when God works things together for good (as we are promised in Romans 8:28), that does not erase a tragedy.  If some guy told Joseph that God would work things together for good when he was sold into slavery, I hope Joseph punched him.
            When Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers, he said “God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance” Genesis 45:7. It is amazing that Joseph had God’s perspective to see how God had ordained all of this to occur.  He didn’t say “it’s cool that you sold me into slavery.” I wonder what his relationship with his brothers was like after this point. I think he would have needed counseling before he could ever trust them again.
            There are two things going on: being able to see God’s perspective and see open doors where they seem to be shut (and also having wisdom to see when it is a closed door). The second is to not be the toxic person who tells someone suffering that God will work things together for His good. It’s true, but it is a very damaging thing to say to someone suffering. It was interesting to me that Caz pointed out that God works all things together for HIS good, not necessarily ours. Ultimately, we will be in heaven and will have no more suffering and will see how everything was orchestrated.  On earth, let’s ask God how we can better see with His eyes, both in our own lives and in how to walk with our loved ones going through loss. Let’s not miss opportunities to bless others.
Beth Kropf