Genesis 42:36 (the very last sentence as spoken by Jacob) ~ "Everything is against me!"
Sound familiar? Or am I the only one that has echoed these words of Jacob over the course of a lifetime?
I'll confess it...I too have lamented over hard times thinking 'everything was against me'!
But the thing I have learned as I have grown up in my salvation is that God is never against me and even circumstances that seem 'unfair' or hopeless are actually for my own good.
Let's consider Jacob's situation. First a little background:
- He believes his favorite son, Joseph was eaten by wild animals (actually...he was sold into slavery by his brothers out of jealousy)
- They are experiencing a severe famine, so he sent all of his sons (except his youngest, Benjamin) to Egypt to get food. He held Benjamin back because he could not bear to lose the only full brother of Joseph.
- They come back to tell him that the 'lord of the land' has taken one of the brothers (Simeon) hostage until they all return with the youngest brother.
- Upon seeing the silver they had given the 'lord of the land' in payment for the food they had brought back still in their pouches, he now fears that it will be seen as theft and Simeon will be killed.
- Now they want to take Benjamin back to Egypt, but this is too much for Jacob and he refuses.
Jump ahead to Genesis 45: 4-8 where Joseph has revealed his true identity to his family. In verses 7-8 he says:
But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on eatrh and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God...
God had a plan.
God always has a plan.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to have 20/20 hindsight vision so we could see now what our challenges and circumstances are 'good' for in the future?
I propose that it is even MORE WONDERFUL to have 20/20 vision into the heart of God and trust that every moment of our lives is in His hands and He has a plan that we can trust for the future.
Jacob and his family would have perished in the famine if the full story of Joseph had not played out. I wonder if Jacob later exclaimed 'nothing is against me because God is always for me!' when he saw the full story revealed?
I long to have this 20/20 vision each time I am tempted to cry out 'everything is against me'.
In fact, in Genesis 43 we see that initially Jacob would not let the brothers take Benjamin to Egypt out of fear of what might happen to him. The scripture tells us that they could have come and gone twice before Jacob was finally forced by the circumstances of the famine to give in and send Benjamin.
Because he was 'afraid', he missed out on being reunited with Joseph that much sooner. And his son Simeon was held captive that much longer, suffering the consequences of his father's fearful response.
How often do we hold back from God's will and leading because of fear? How many days, months or years do we miss what God has planned for us when we hold back in fear?
How many times do we have to look back and see what God has done before we learn to trust God in the moment more than we fear the future?
Father God, thank You for the testimony of Your word that reminds us how much You are with us even when circumstances seem to say otherwise. Forgive me for the times I have lost sight of this and lamented that 'everything was against me'. Keep me mindful that YOU are my everything. I find great comfort in knowing that even when I don't understand the challenges I go through or the circumstances I face, I know You are working out a plan for a greater good than what I can see for today. Thank You Lord, for planning a future for me that includes intimate fellowship with You. Each experience draws me closer. And I am here today, at Your feet, because of the One You sent to shed His blood for my sins. It is in His name I pray. Amen.