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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Keeping Vision in the Rain of Life

It's been raining here in Washington for 33 straight days. They say that the record (50 days) is within reach. When it stays this gloomy for this long, it can be easy to forget how nice sunshine is. In a way, you begin to lose sight that better days are ahead!

I was reading lately the story of Joseph and his brothers. Joseph went through an amazing amount of trials on his way to great power in Egypt. In my mind, though, I have always pictured Joseph as this quiet stoic who patiently endured, knowing God would have His way in the end.

But listen to something Joseph's brothers said, regarding the time they put him in a dry cistern, and then sold him into slavery: "We saw his terror and anguish and heard his pleadings, but we wouldn't listen." Rather than a peaceful resolve to what was happening, Joseph was terrified and overwhelmed! I think we can expect that he may have had similar feelings in Egypt as he faced betrayal, slander, injustice, and abandonment. Yet in his fear, and his doubt, and his pain, he still kept sight of his hope in God. During his big "reveal" to the brothers, he exclaims, "Don't be angry with yourselves that you did this to me, for God did it! He sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives."

Do you get the connection here? Joseph experiences deep fear and pain AND he keeps sight of God. So often we think that if we really look to God and trust him, we'll have no fear or doubt. We also conclude that fear and doubt are a sign that we aren't trusting God! But I think God would have us consider that terror and anguish are human emotions that we will all feel. The key isn't to eliminate these feelings, but to make sure they lead us to God and put us in a place of greater dependence on Him and His plan.

So, if the rain of life brings fear, or doubt, or pain, let it lead you to the Son. He will preserve you through the storm and bring you to the place He has long ago prepared for you. The trials won't get easier, but they will remind us of our need for God. Keep sight of Him.

Journey on, friend.

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