THERE ARE TIMES WHEN THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENS!
The brothers allowed the jealousy to fester in their thoughts until it became hatred. One day they hatched a plan to get rid of Joe. They sold him to some slave traders passing through on their way to Egypt. They knew they couldn't go home and tell their Dad that Joe was sold so they made up a lie. Jake had given Joe a beautiful coat of many colors. The brothers killed a goat and soaked Joe's coat in blood. Arriving at home, the brothers showed the coat to their Dad and asked, "Is this Joe's coat?" We think a wild animal must have torn our brother to pieces and he's dead! Jake fell to the ground crying in agony, his favorite son was dead.
You can imagine how hard this must have been for a parent to lose a child. You probably can't imagine praying for the child to come back to life. This story is told in Genesis Chapters 37-50. Before we go any further, take a look at the picture above. A bed of dead pine needles, fallen leaves and a fallen pine cone. Would you ever consider praying to have them put back on the trees they fell from? Of course not, some things are too ridiculous to pray for. Jacob believed his son Joseph was killed by wild animals. He's dead and you don't pray to bring the dead back to life.
Bad things happen in life, but there's a great Bible verse that says, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." Romans 8:28 NLT. Jacob had no way of knowing that Joseph wasn't really dead. He would never pray for a dead son devoured by an animal to come back to life. I'm not telling you to pray impossible prayers, sad things do happen and we can't reverse them, but God has a plan.
In a minute you can read the end of the story about Jacob finding out Joseph was truly alive. Stop for a moment and think about the impossible prayers you would never pray. Most often the dead don't come back to life, but we will see many of them in eternal life. With man some prayers are impossible, but with God all prayers are possible. There is always hope for a better future in God no matter how bleak the present is. Trust that God is carrying out His purpose. I encourage you to read the entirety of Joseph's life story. He was a slave, lied about, betrayed, a prisoner - who became God's servant to save people during a famine. His bones were carried into the promised Land. Dare to dream as Joseph did. Your triumphs and tragedies all have a purpose in the heart of God.
DAY TWO WORD
Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, "Have everyone leave my presence!" So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh's household heard about it.
Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph! Is my father still living?" But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence. Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come close to me." When they had done so, he said, "I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt!
And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
"So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.
Now hurry back to my father and say to him, `This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don't delay. You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me--you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have.
I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.'
"You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that it is really I who am speaking to you.
Tell my father about all the honor accorded me in Egypt and about everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly."
Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping.
15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.
When the news reached Pharaoh's palace that Joseph's brothers had come, Pharaoh and all his officials were pleased. Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Tell your brothers, `Do this: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan, and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.' "You are also directed to tell them, `Do this: Take some carts from Egypt for your children and your wives, and get your father and come. Never mind about your belongings, because the best of all Egypt will be yours.'"
So the sons of Israel did this. Joseph gave them carts, as Pharaoh had commanded, and he also gave them provisions for their journey. To each of them he gave new clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver and five sets of clothes.
And this is what he sent to his father: ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other provisions for his journey.
Then he sent his brothers away, and as they were leaving he said to them, "Don't quarrel on the way!"
So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan.
They told him, "Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt." Jacob was stunned; he did not believe them.
But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived.
And Israel said, "I'm convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die."
Genesis 45:1-28 NIV
Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, Ephesians 3:20 AMP
DAY TWO PRAYER
God we thank You for Your impossible ways. You make a way when there is no way. Dead ends become life lessons when we seek Your wisdom. Fallen leaves and dead pine needles become the mulch of understanding. Pine cones are merely woody containers for the seeds inside. They provide new life when they are released. The cross was merely a woody container for the eternal life released through the resurrection of Christ. You are the God of the impossible and we praise You and give You thanks. Amen.
DAY TWO DEEP THOUGHTS
- When young mothers were grieving over the death of their sons from to gun violence, we always guaranteed that we'd keep their sons alive through our words. We would speak words of life amidst the tragedy of death. The purpose of those words is to help others avoid at risk behaviors that cause tragedy.
- Joseph's brothers caused tragedy out of jealousy.
- God turns tragedies into triumphs.