Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near me,” and they came near. “I am Joseph, your brother,” he said, “the one you sold into Egypt. And now don’t be worried or angry with yourselves for selling me here, because God sent me ahead of you to preserve life…God sent me ahead of you to establish you as a remnant within the land and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.”
– Genesis 45:4-5, 7
Today, I am thankful that God is in control.
There are no surprises to God. He knows our future and the events that will take place to shape us into the people He created us to be. He weaves our lives together, and His plan extends from before time through eternity. God is in control, and He has an intricate plan to hold us and move us through any crisis.
The book of Genesis closes with the story of the life of Joseph. God gave Joseph the strength to endure extremely difficult circumstances. Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and sold to Midianite traders. He became a slave of the captain of Pharaoh’s guard in Egypt. Joseph was falsely accused of rape and then thrown into prison. He helped two of Pharaoh’s servants while there, interpreting their dreams, but then was forgotten. All together, Joseph was a slave and then prisoner for 13 years.
Despite the heartbreak, loneliness, sorrow and surrounding darkness, Joseph clung to His faith in God. He doggedly grasped the hope given to him in a boyhood dream, that God would elevate him as the leader of his family. Scripture tells us that God was with Joseph (Genesis 39:2-6, 21-23). When he was Potiphar’s slave, God blessed Joseph, and he was put in charge of the entire household. When Joseph was in prison, God granted him favor, and Joseph was given responsibility over all the prisoners. God never left, in the midst of crisis. God had Joseph right where he needed to be.
God eventually delivered Joseph and made him second in command of the most powerful country in the world. Directed by God, Joseph carried out a plan to save an entire nation from a devastating famine. So terrible was the drought that his brothers came from far away to buy food. Joseph’s dream came true as his brothers bowed low before him, not knowing that they were in the presence of the boy they had horrifically abandoned years earlier. God’s plan was even bigger than Joseph’s dream. He brought faithful Joseph through the dungeon to dominance in order to save God’s chosen people, secure His covenant promise with Abraham, and rescue countless people from starvation. Later, God would bring Joseph’s descendants, and the Hebrew people, out of Egypt in such a miraculous way that the entire world, from then until now, would be reminded that God is the One True God and there is no one mightier and greater than He.
Like Joseph, we won’t always understand when crisis comes and burdens hammer at our hearts. We may become dizzy as life spins around us and trip when the darkness closes in. But, we do not have to be defeated. The Almighty King of Kings is with us, and He has a plan. We must choose to trust Him when we cannot see the end of our story. Our God is in control.