Pain and timing

I’m hard-pressed to find a stronger example of the difference between freedom and imprisonment than this morning’s Genesis read. Joseph was a unique guy for sure, and a little cocky, but he took on some serious undeserved pain: he was abandoned, rejected, hated, enslaved, tempted in a huge way, accused wrongfully, imprisoned, forgotten, and otherwise tossed around by life. (start in Genesis 38 for the whole story.) He stayed at peace with God through it all; he trusted that God was at work, even in the pain.
His older brothers (count ’em at 10) were his opposites. They hated, rejected a life of faith, lived for the moment and thought nothing for the future. They might have lived outside of the prison cell, but their guilt and what their actions brought them fabricated bars stronger than iron.
No freedom can match what a clear conscience delivers. And viewing the pain, deserved or otherwise, we face through the lens of faith liberates us. It’s not good or fun, and none of us stand in line for more of it. But trusting that God is working something good inside of us, and fitting our lives into the nexus of his timing and will somehow creates peace in the middle of the pain.
When Joseph re-introduced himself to his brothers after all the pain they had cause him, he put all of it in perspective, and said: “God sent me ahead of you.” Going through pain, disappointment, delays, and dark times with trust in God’s goodness aligns our passions, our timing, and our place in His will, to His agenda.
Looking for the big picture from here,