Read: Genesis 45:1-2
Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.
Life is often born out of deep pain. No story in the Bible reveals this more than the story of Joseph, the son of Jacob. Joseph’s life reads like an epic novel full of twists and turns, pain and suffering and ultimately great triumph. His is a life full of lessons to learn, each of them born out of pain. Betrayal and rejection at the hands of his brothers, bondage at the hands of Potiphar his master, injustice and lies from Potiphar’s wife. Then prison and more rejection, mixed with indifference at the hands of the baker and the cupbearer, until finally a meeting with the Pharaoh that led to honor and fulfillment at the hands of the one least likely to offer it. Joseph’s is a life of deep suffering that packed it’s pages full of wisdom to be gleaned, not just from Joseph but from God. Lessons about how our Father will treat His children. Joseph’s life may appear to be a tortured present from a harsh God, but nothing is further from the truth. The truth is suffering taught Joseph to trust. Humility positioned Joseph for promotion and a place where he would be exalted. A place where he would demonstrate enormous wisdom. Wisdom that was no accident, but wisdom born in the fire, the crucible of suffering and pain. They do that don’t they? Suffering and pain teach us priorities, in this case God’s priorities. Joseph learned in his struggle the lessons God was teaching, care for others first. You were not created to merely look out for yourself.
Friends, what have you learned from the lessons of pain that God has allowed you to suffer? Have you learned that people count most to God? That the suffering of others is usually more important than your own? Have you learned that this life is fleeting and all that really counts is eternal? Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream correctly, seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. Just like Joseph’s life, but in an opposite order, many years of famine followed by years and years of plenty. When his moment of plenty came, his years of famine had done their job and produced a life and heart that was for others. A heart that forgave others and a deep love and concern for others. Yes, in pain Joseph became all God destined him to be.
In Genesis 49:22-26, it was later said of Joseph; “Joseph is a fruitful vine…With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility. But his bow remained steady…because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd the Rock of Israel…”
Father, we all fear pain, I certainly do, but as I walk with you through the fires in my life I find that the pain can bring life if I allow you to move in all of it. Holy Spirit, comfort me in the pain and teach me the lessons my loving Father longs for me to learn.