~ Genesis 50:24 (NIV)
I find it's so easy for me, when finding the time to read my bible (which sadly I don't do as often as I should) to focus my attention on the New Testament. The stories of Jesus and all He fulfilled during His time on earth amaze me, fill me with a peace and hope and I feel humble at His Goodness.
But more often than not, what we need to do is go back to the beginning of an adventure, even if we feel we've heard it many a time and it can't possibly shine a light on circumstance and then we must open our minds to the wonders of our God, and the message being shared!
So, that's what I've been doing. Quietly reading deeply through the book of Genesis-the first book of the bible, found in that cob-webbed section called The Old Testament...and what little gems I'm finding. Last night, the verse above really touched my heart...at first I wasn't sure what it meant or why I couldn't shake it from this active mind of mine, but this afternoon I've had my *light bulb moment* and I think I know, and I want to share it with you too...so sit back and forgive me if this little rambling doesn't stay so little!
Genesis 50:24 follows on from Joseph (yes, the techni-colour dream coat guy) and his family burying their father Jacob. Joseph's brothers - who are famously known for treating him very unkindly throughout time were eager to make peace with their brother - Joseph being the Godly man that he was forgave and reassured them of his love for them by living alongside them for the rest of his days. In verse 24, Joseph recognises that at the ripe age of 110 years, he is dying. He gathers his brothers and informs them he doesn't have long left to live, but that they shouldn't be sad or worry, because God will visit them and fulfil His promise to take them from where they currently were to a better place.
To get a clearer perspective on the situation unravelling, I think it's good to know that Joseph wasn't just a regular guy...Joseph lived a life led by Gods favour...he achieved great things and lived trusting in and depending upon the promises of God. Whilst I'm sure his family would have been saddened at his revelation of his nearing death, I'm pretty certain they were also scared of what was to potentially be of them once Joseph- their human providence in a way- was no longer alive.
But Joseph didn't end his speech with the news of his poor health, he continued and once again re-assured those around him that there was better to come....that God had a way paved for them....that the here and now wasn't the end of their story....
Wow...when I picture the scene, I feel so emotional. When I think of the relevance this verse has in my life...our lives...today, I am once again reminded that there is a God who eases the pain, soars through the suffering, calms the storm and comes to my rescue each day.
The reality is sometimes in life, our "Josephs" die and a whole load of comforts die with them. Just as Egypt was never the same to Israel after Joseph was dead, our worlds too are rocked when certain things come to an end or aren't working out as we would hope. Whether it be the passing of a loved one such in the instance above, or the rejection of a job promotion, a friendship ending, a child coming of age and moving away, continual poor health despite the faithful prayers, financial hardship even though two jobs are being worked...whatever the situation, as with the passing of Joseph in Genesis, the sadness of "death" can be alleviated. As Joseph shared with his brothers that they were promised a visit from God...Jehovah himself....we too can rest assured that His favour is very much alive amongst us today.
Just as He did it then, God today, can and will deliver us to the promise land! He won't sit back and watch us fade in circumstance, He won't let our weary heads droop and not gently lift them back up, He will never allow for his eternal promises to be drowned by fear and lies...
I'd like to say I live my life being a Joseph in every moment of every day...but the truth is I'm not...and I don't think you are either. I think that's okay as we're not designed to be. I have many a moment where I feel as I imagine Joseph's brothers felt upon hearing the words that he was dying...right now, in the middle of this Thursday I'm clinging to this verse, I'm praying its meaning, its value and worth into my life...into the life of my children, my husband and others I hold dear in my heart.
I'm aching at the pain of a relationship not being how it once was...but reminding myself that the God who never changes, never departs or deserts, is here, right now in the midst of it all....waiting to visit me in my rawness and fill me with His love afresh. Because, simply put, that's what He does...all the time!
I'm so grateful.
Grateful for this day, grateful for His word, grateful for His Greatness, grateful for His Promises!
My prayer for each one of us is that we wouldn't be scared to go back to the beginning of the adventure, that we would know that there is truth just waiting to be absorbed and that unconditional encouragement flows into open hearts.
I pray you, my reader would today see the goodness of our God in your life, that "death" would not leave its sting on your circumstance but instead you would be delivered into your promise land...that you would not lose your focus but would know that you matter...that you are loved...by Him...the One who is love and who made you with a purpose and a vision...