Joseph answered, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended evil toward me, but God intended your actions for a good purpose, so he could keep alive a great people.” Genesis 50:20
Joseph was the perfect child, and his brothers hated him for it. So they sold him into slavery. Despite his circumstances, Joseph remained true to his faith in God. He was successful as a slave because God was with him. But God did not enable Joseph to escape, nor did he prevent his owner’s wife from framing him for sexual assault, nor did he keep him out of prison. Unjustly sentenced, Joseph remained true to God. Joseph was successful in prison, because God was with him. He soon became the person in charge, but that’s not the same as experiencing a divinely orchestrated escape, let alone an overturned conviction and a quick release. In all of this we never hear a word of complaint from Joseph. What we hear are words of affirmation about God’s ability and willingness to enable his people to respond to the needs of others. What Joseph didn’t know at the time—indeed, what we never know at the time—is what God is doing behind the scenes. What Joseph did know—and what we must keep in mind—is that our perspective is limited, very limited, and intentionally so. But God’s perspective is unlimited; and, he has a plan. He’s weaving an unimaginably beautiful tapestry—which will be enjoyed by many—out of what appears to us to be coarse strands of injustice and pain.
Wise Creator, fill me with a confident, patient and gracious spirit like Joseph’s (and Jesus’) in times of personal turmoil.