My favorite bible story of God revealing himself and his vast love for his people is that of Joseph the dreamer. God uses the unfortunate circumstances in Joseph’s life to bring about the His glory and to save the people of Egypt from years of famine, not to mention the restoration of the lives of Joseph and his family. This story related to my own heart’s desires to have my life mean something, to be used by God to help others.
But there’s more going on in this story. Joseph’s brothers have a story too. Like the brothers, we have all done despicable things, perhaps only in our own mind, but those sins usually have the strongest grip on our soul. You know those men we’re filled with guilt and suffered daily as they watched their father deteriorate from heartbreak.
God not only saved Joseph’s family from certain death along with the Egyptians, but restored the apparently dead family. God revealed his love by restoring Joseph’s relationship with his brothers and healing their father’s broken heart. His dead son was restored to him. In Jesus all things can be restored.
Many events in my past have left me disappointed with God’s love. Overwhelmed with my own failures I believed I only deserved second best from God and from life. People who should have loved me abandoned me or treated me as second best; this combined with my many accumulated sins led to an addiction to shame. Feelings of being unwanted, unworthy and unloved would grow to be me constant companion and if others didn’t cooperate with my addiction my heart would arrange for it. I may have overcome this to a great degree, but I still struggle with this addiction occasionally as you can see from my past few posts. But that is the glory of a relationship with Jesus…we never have to remain as we are, we can let him change us.
This is an important story because most of us have felt like those brothers having disappointed and broken the heart of God. I believed I could never be truly restored. Yes I would go to heaven, but surely there were heavenly slums for people like me who had disappointed God too much. God sent his son, in this story, Joseph, both disguised in order to reach out to the lost. I reacted like the brothers, full of fear but when Jesus revealed himself, his true self, all rifts closed, relationship was restored.
Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins.
2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (The Message)