“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds
on the heel that has crushed it.”
Most of us know the story of the brother who was sold to the Ishmaelites because of jealousy, but was eventually put in charge of all of Egypt. I would encourage you to read the entire tale found in Genesis, Chapters 37-50, but for convenience I’ve pulled the verse I want to address below:
“So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7 And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God.” Genesis 45:4-8
My guess is that you can recall, with great detail, the last time someone wronged you.
And if they happened to be a family member, well, we’ve heard the stories. They seem to pop up everywhere. I’ve learned of far too many stories of severed relationships, silence, and separation. I know of a son who told his parents upon leaving home, “Don’t ever talk to me again.” I know of a woman who didn’t know her father lay dead because she couldn’t forgive what was said years and years prior.
Joseph’s perspective, and eventual response toward the brothers who plotted to kill him, is nothing short of magnificent! I love this guy. I love his willingness to journey through an incredible path, whose twists and turns make no sense, yet he doesn’t stop to blame, he walks it out and watches where God worked through all of it.
Whether it is a challenging relationship, unexpected setbacks, excruciating pain, or delayed outcomes, are we willing to journey down the road and forgive along the way?
Who has wronged you?
Has the blame stalled your progress because you can’t get past the injustice? I think Joseph would tell us that we’re wasting time! I think he’d show us where there might be a famine in the land and we better get our eyes off the past and prepare for the future. I think he’d remind us of a Palestinian Jew who came long after himself and taught us in the most radical way how to forgive our enemies.
Joseph’s life is a documented account of this quote by Oprah Winfrey, “True forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank you for that experience.”
“But Joseph said to them, ‘Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.’ Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” Genesis 50:19-21
Photo Credit: Flickr (Creative Commons)
Kim’s signature closing:
Welcome new readers, and those well loved! My blogs are focused on authentic Christianity and real life decisions. History proves that my readers interact most comfortably through an email exchange, rather than a public comment. You are always welcome to find me at email@example.com. I welcome your questions or comments and will do my best to respond in a timely manner.
My deepest desire is for you to know Jesus real. He is not just a positive thought, a model to follow, or a comfortable space to hear love. He is life. Adventure. He can be the very air you breathe with just one decision. I never knew Him until I ended up sitting on a dirty field in India. He met me there, and that gripping tale of redemption is found in my life’s work: The Chance to Choose: Become Who You Were Meant to Be One Choice At a Time. I’d love all my reader’s to know the story. It is there where you’ll understand me, and the One I serve, best. Click on printed/signed copy, or Kindle version (also available on Nook and Apple iBook) to purchase, and if you need more, check out the book trailer below: