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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Intended for good

Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, “What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?”So they approached Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this instruction before he died, ‘Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.’ Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, “We are here as your slaves.” But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them. ~ Genesis 50:15-21

This passage has always been a little tricky to me. Joseph says that the harm caused by his brothers to him, God intended for good.

I always wondered if that mean God intentionally sought harm for Joseph.

The more and more I learn about and am drawn to God, the less I think that's the case.

But time and time again I have seen life - good - brought out of tragedy or terrible situations.

No loving, thoughtful person one would think God desired the Holocaust just so that there would be a chance for heroes to make their mark.

Yet heroes did make their mark.

I don't at all believe God intends harm to people, just so that God's ways can be seen. But I believe God can take the worst of us - the worst we do - and bring life out of the chaos.

God can take the harm we do, and give us a chance to bring hope out of it.

Can give us a chance to heal with love, that which has been ripped apart.

Lord, open my eyes to the hurt in this world that you have given my the gifts to help heal. Amen

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