“Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.”
We often carry in our hearts the woundings from other’s actions and sins. We will typically respond in different ways. Some insulate themselves, others get quirky; quite a few turn on to drugs and alcohol to ease the pain. Very few handle these wounds properly without God’s intervention.
We can get quite innovative building and maintaining these deceptions and protections. If you’ve been ‘wounded’ you know what I mean. I struggled for the longest time over something spoken in jest– harmless banter that became poisonous over time. We can hurt from just simple trifles.
There is something I call, ‘mundane atrocities.’ They are casual encounters that are woven over time to produce nasty results. They can often be the raw material for the deceptions that shape us.
The story of Joseph in the Book of Genesis 39-50 provides us insight into the life of one man who sincerely follows the Lord, through outrageous ‘twists & turns.’ He navigates as a dreamer and a loved son, to slave and then prison. Over the years Joseph is hurt by the brokenness of those around him, yet he moves through these without becoming derailed.
Joseph says something toward the end that is quite perceptive. In Genesis we read of his heart in these mundane atrocities. These are the words of a broken man, from a broken family
“But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.” (45:5)
“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (50:20)
Mind you, this is after years of false imprisonment and vicious misunderstanding. Joseph sees God’s hand in deep injustice. He keeps his spirit clean through it all. He could’ve reacted and insisted on vengeance, but that would not happen.
I believe there exists a “Holy Order of the Josephites.”
Joseph is a prototype, a real example for us who must navigate through the tangledness of life. I believe there exists a “Holy Order of the Josephites.” It is bestowed on those who have experienced this first-hand and come through with their spirits clean. (We call this Christlikeness.)
Jesus himself walks by your side through all this pain. Fix your eyes on the one who understands intimately your situation. “God means it for good” and intends on bringing you through this, you will stand by His side one day soon.