The God of the Bigger Picture

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After Israel’s death, the brothers began to wonder if Joseph might take advantage of their father’s absence to get his revenge on them for the evil they had done (Genesis 50:15-17). Joseph’s response to their concern is one that has echoed down the centuries.

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” (50:19).

Joseph saw the bigger picture. Sometimes we don’t get the privilege of seeing that bigger picture. Sometimes we aren’t looking for it. We are faced with the realities of life, with the harm people intend, with the evil that touches our health, our families, our fortunes. And we forget that there is a bigger picture.

A friend posted a video on FACEBOOK this morning that I took the time to listen to. Many of you will remember Scotty Hamilton, who won endless gold medals and championships as a figure skater. The video is his story and I hope you will take the time to listen to it.

But among the many things that struck me was Scott explaining what he discovered well after he had hung up his skates professionally. He had been sickly as a child, a sickness that wasn’t diagnosed but resulted in him being short of stature for a man. Much later it was discovered that his lack of growth had been caused by a pituitary tumor. Scott wondered what his life would have been like if God hadn’t allowed him to be born with a tumor that stunted his growth. Most of us would think that was an evil thing—Scott believes that if he had been a bigger man he never would have been able to skate to the perfection that he skated.

God meant it for good.

Joseph saw the bigger picture. Faith believes there is a bigger picture even when we don’t get the opportunity to see it.  The harm people do to us, the apparent evil that touches our lives, all have a “bigger picture.” And when we understand that there is a bigger picture and that we can trust the God who designed that bigger picture, dealing with evil and evil intent becomes much, much easier.


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