“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. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. 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. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, “Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry. You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come.”‘” Genesis 45:4-11
Joseph, mistreated and sold by his brothers, falsely imprisoned by Potiphar, forgotten for two years in prison by the released cup-bearer, now prime minister disguised from his brothers by his Egyptian position, garb, and language, finally reveals to them his identity. Note how fluidly he refers to God. His life is bound up with Him and His wide purposes, The goodness He works in all things. Joseph tarries not in present circumstances, but is fixed in the eternal ways of the Sovereign. (Acts 17:24-25,28; Romans 8:28)
Taking our view up a notch makes all the difference in our reception of our situation, and our handling of challenges that confront us. When, instead of getting fixated on events or curveballs, cruelties or difficulties, we put on our God-glasses, the helmet of salvation, the mind of Christ, we can say first “but God,” and “because God.” We learn to view all with a spiritual perspective, and look for the meaning that is deeper and always there. What is He doing, teaching, inviting me to see or change? When conflict arises, where can harmony be built? In disagreement, what can I do to bring unity? When I am unjustly treated, am I willing to ‘go to the cross’ and forgive as my Savior has? Praying for and intentionally loving our enemies softens our hearts toward them, seeing the lost as unable to discern spiritually helps me understand their behavior and attitudes. When my longings go unfulfilled, what can I learn of the spiritual fruit of patience, faithfulness, and self-control, what new attributes of Jesus are revealed in His consistent care and provision and lovingkindness? (Romans 15:5-6; 1 Corinthians 2:14-16; Ephesians 4:32; Luke 6:35-36)
Gracious Lord, please train me in the long view, an eternal perspective in all my day-to-day. Keep me surrendered to Your will and expectant of Your handling everything to accomplish Your grand and good plans.