"But Joseph said to them, 'Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.' " (Genesis 50:19, 20)
In his Hall of Fame induction speech, the Greatest of All Time, Michael Jordan, traced back all his success to one single moment...the moment he was cut from his High School basketball team. It was that failure that motivated him into a relentless work ethic to be the best. Would he still have been the greatest without this failure? As he would continue to name names and state situations where others either doubted or denied him, I think the answer is no. Without this initial failure in his life, his desire for success would have never realized its full potential. He was driven like a mad man, using every slight as a source of strength. What could’ve crushed and destroyed him instead catapulted and defined him. And even after all his success all the accolades and awards, the championships and the trophies, what everyone realized was that Jordan never let go of this one moment of failure. Even at his crowning moment, he still resented the coach that cut him.
Joseph was the complete opposite.
Joseph was wronged. But, when the time came for him to get pay back he instead choose righteousness over revenge. He praised God that what others had intended for harm, God used for glory. Instead of blaming his brothers for their heinous act that led him to slavery and bondage, he showed grace and mercy and realized that it was all part of God’s bigger plan, a plan that he prophesied to Joseph in a dream and promised to him upon his birth. When Joseph saw his brothers, he didn’t see the moment they taunted him and threw him in the pit. Joseph saw the completion of God’s great plan and how that moment, however painful it was, paled in comparison to the joy that he experienced being able to see and care for his family again.
Bottom line: God’s plans are greater than we can imagine or dream of. But it doesn’t mean the road will always be easy. It doesn’t mean that we’ll see success from the start. What it means is that if we commit ourselves to Him, His promise is for us, His HOPE IS ALIVE and we are VICTORIOUS.
When I take quick inventory of how I got to where I am I quickly realize that nothing happened by coincidence. There are no coincidences with God. God is not random. Every pain has led to growth. Every hopeless situation has led me closer to Him.
While I can quickly identify the pain moment in each victory, the key for me here is to not make monuments for every mistake or statues for every setback. Instead I need to continually celebrate the victory, be grateful for the grace and step forward in hope. It’s the victory that should be remembered. Looking back only slows down the progress. I need to be grateful for what has passed, focused on today’s opportunities and captivated by what God has in store…cause His plans are GREATER.
Jesus thank you for Your grace. Thank you that your plans and promises are true and are worth every temporary moment of uncomfortableness. I surrender my will and way to You. May you be glorified in my goings and exalted in my efforts. Amen