“Do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.”
— Genesis 45:5
After a grueling afternoon on the Appalachian Trail, I stopped to rest, exhausted, by a gurgling stream. I’d been hiking the “Roller Coaster,” a section of trail with ten steep ascents and descents in the mountains of Virginia.
The steep rises and plunges of the “Roller Coaster” reminded me of the experience of Joseph. As a young man, Joseph was bright and full of life, the favorite of his father. That drove his brothers crazy with jealousy and envy, however. And one day those brothers took revenge, selling Joseph into slavery in Egypt. There we see him rise and fall, gaining honor but also getting thrown into prison for a wrong he did not commit. But God was with Joseph, and eventually God raised him to become a ruler in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh the king.
Later, when his brothers came to Egypt to buy food because there was a great famine, they found themselves in the hands of Joseph and were afraid he would take revenge on them. But Joseph had learned about depending on God. He saw God’s watchful care in all the ups and downs of his life, and he saw how God had planned to save many lives through him.
As we experience ups and downs in life, we can take comfort that in all circumstances God is with us, redeeming and purifying us for work that he has planned for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
Lord Jesus, help us to take comfort in your sure and steady hand and to trust in your purposes and plans for our lives. Amen.