Am I In the Place of God
Genesis 49:25 - Exodus 4:9
Last night before I fell asleep the last words to leave my lips were a prayer.
This morning before my eyes could even open, my heart, conscious, began the day pleading.
For the boy down the street. The one who needs a strong heart today. The one who needs courage. And miracles.
I prayed constant.
And as I prayed I pondered.
I could wonder why...
Why the broken heart,
why the surgery after surgery after surgery,
why the mother's faith tested and proved sufficient...again.
But instead my heart learns from Joseph.
From the power of the lesson found at the very end of Genesis.
In the moment when Joseph's brothers came pleading. In the moment when they asked forgiveness for the great trial they had imposed upon him. In the moment when he could have turned to them and said, "Why the pit, why the bag of silver in place of a brother, why the years in prison..."
Instead he asked them a profound question:
"For am I in the place of God?" (Genesis 50:19)
It's as if he was saying, "in the end, isn't the place where I ended up after all those trials the exact place God needed me to be?" Am I not in the place God designed?
Think about it. Had there not been the pit, the slavery, the years in prison, there would not have been the opportunity for leadership, for saving a nation, for saving his family.
The truth of it is...the trial is what enabled him to be in the place he needed to be. The place God needed him to be.
I love this line, "As for you, ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive." (Genesis 50:20)
What a profound message. Joseph experienced a trial that had the potential to destroy him, but God meant it unto good. God turned it unto good. To bring to pass Joseph being exactly where he was on that day. To save much people alive.
Think of the greatest trial in your life. Looking back, can you see how God meant it unto you for good? If you can't see it now, ask that He will open your heart to understand.
The lesson in this chapter is profound. In the midst of our greatest trials it's OK to question. We just have to make sure we are asking the right question. Asking "why" might not help us discover the answer we are truly seeking. The right question to ask in the midst of tribulation is the one Joseph asked...
Am I in the place of God? Is this trial helping me to arrive at the place God needs me to be?
We may not understand the trials we face in this life, particularly when we are in the midst of the trial. But we can always trust that God means it unto good. The pit. The pieces of silver. The prison. God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day.
Just before lunch I received a text from the boy's mother.
The surgery went well. The boy was resting comfortably in the ICU. And then she wrote a line that made my whole day:
"Let Rejoicing Go Unrestrained!"
I knew immediately she was in the place of God.
As hard as this journey has been, and as hard as it surely will be, she knows God means it for her good. And for her son's good.
And in the midst of greatest trial she finds moments to rejoice unrestrained.