by Ray Gemme

I remember reading the account of Joseph for the first time. I felt such outrage toward those calloused-hearted brothers, then disgust for the lying woman with her hypocritical accusation, and finally sadness when the very one whose restoration Joseph predicted forgot him.

When I read the story now, I don’t experience those emotions with the same level of intensity because I know how it all ends. Knowing the vindication and exaltation that came to Joseph makes the villains just a little less evil and their actions not nearly as despicable. After all, they were part of the strategy God used.

Unfortunately, when we are the ones experiencing hatred, facing accusations, or feeling forgotten, we don’t have the opportunity to fast-forward to the vindication and exaltation part. We don’t get to see exactly how this experience is part of God’s plan to develop and shape us. We may not recognize a struggle or difficult challenge as the vehicle God is using to move us to a new place.

The Lord orders all the steps of the righteous. Yet for some reason we think the ordered steps are the pleasant, painless, and unproblematic ones.

Ray Gemme, Victorville, California