My Bible reading yesterday had me in Genesis 45 with Joseph. He has just revealed his identity to his brothers who sold him into slavery many years before, and this is what he says:
God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and Lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
I had already been thinking that it was interesting that when Joseph came into power he did not go back to his father, did not send word. He accepted where God put him. He had been a slave, he had been in prison, and now he was ruler of all Egypt; and he just did his job in every circumstance. Then when he had the power to do so, he did not try to go back and find the life he had lost.
Next I read a passage in a wonderful little book I found, His Thoughts Said… His Father Said, by Amy Carmichael (review coming soon). I am printing it below.
The thoughts of the son ran thus: “My hopes painted beautiful pictures, but they are fading one by one.”
Then his Father spoke to him: “Thy hopes painted pictures? Destroy all those pictures. To watch them slowly fading is weakening to the soul. Dare then to destroy them. Thou canst if thou wilt. Thou must if thou wouldest be My warrior son. I will give thee other pictures instead of those thy hopes painted. Look up, O thou son of My love.”
Then the son looked up, and he saw a cross raised high against the sunlight, then a darkness that might be felt. And he heard, as it were, an echo of a voice, “Father, glorify Thy name”; and a Voice that answered, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” And he knew that strength and beauty were in the Sanctuary and would presently pour forth. Calvary was not the end of that day’s story. And his heart stayed itself upon this assurance: He shall choose our inheritance for us – no fading picture that, but the excellency of Jacob whom He loved.
Ponder that one for a while before you continue reading.
To continue my day, in church yesterday the pastor preached from Psalm 40, and this jumped out at me:
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.
Which sent my mind on a trail to find these verses:
Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare (peace) and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
As I reflected on all of this throughout the day, and apparently all night, it became obvious. I got up this morning to look at my journal and my notes from church, and there it was. After two weeks of being depressed, yesterday was a wonderful reminder, from every direction, that God has my life in His hands – the past, the present, and the future. He is Sovereign, and He has a plan that He will accomplish, a plan for my good and His glory. The question becomes, as it always does, My Heavenly Father saying, “Becky, do you trust ME?”
I wrote all of the above before I got to my Bible reading for today. I left it open to come back and write an ending. Then I read Psalm 28, and I don’t think there could be a more fitting way to end it:
Blessed be the LORD!
For He has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
The LORD is my strength and my shield;
in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to Him.
The LORD is the strength of His people;
He is the saving refuge of His anointed.
Oh, save Your people and bless Your heritage!
Be their shepherd and carry them forever.