Bible Verse: Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed. Genesis 37:26-27
Scripture Reading: Genesis 45
I used to have a favorite sweater. One I’d put on when I needed to feel comfortable in a way that no other sweater could bring. Over the years, that sweater became tattered and ratty. Yet, I struggled to let it go.
Too often, our pasts are like that sweater. What should be good becomes tattered and ratty. Bad things happen to us. Someone says something. Our parents did this. Our sibling did that. A teacher did something else.
It all hurts. A lot.
And what do we do with that hurt? We hang on to it and wrap it around our hearts like a ratty sweater, thinking it brings us comfort.
Joseph was a young man who had terrible things happen to him.
Hated. Beaten. Sold. By his own brothers.
Enslaved. Accused. Imprisoned. By a person he whole-heartedly served.
Forgotten. By a person he personally invested in.
If anyone had a right to cloak themselves in the hurts of their past, it was Joseph. I mean, I would have if it was me.
“You hated me! Beat me! Sold me!”
“I was enslaved! Falsely accused! Wrongly imprisoned!”
“I was forgotten! You forgot about me!”
But what does Joseph say instead?
“…God sent me…” (Genesis 45:5; v.7)
When looking at his past, Joseph didn’t see the hurt as anything to hold on to, but rather as God’s sovereign plan to put him in the place He wanted him to be.
I want to be clear here. There are pains and hurts from our past that are very damaging and need to be worked through with the help of someone who can walk with us through it all.
But in the end, we as men need to decide what we will hang on to.
Will we continue to put on a ratty sweater of hate and unforgiveness?
Or will we be able to see God’s hand in our lives and accept that He never forgot about us?
This is not easy. Trust me. But God is ready to take the hurts and pains that we have used to define our identities and give us a new perspective – His perspective.
Prayer: Jesus, You know my past, and You know the hurts I have held on to for too long. Help me to let them go and grab on to the life You have for me. Amen.
Reflection: What is one hurt you need to let go of? Do what you need to do to release it.
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