From Genesis to Now: written November 20
Thoughts on Genesis 43
Sometimes we cannot see the hand of God, especially when life seems to be against us. Recently, at a memorial service for one of my last year’s AP students, the pastor quoted John Piper, “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.”
As it is with us, so it was for Jacob and his sons. They could not see God’s plan. Joseph—unknown to the brothers—had been harsh. He’d kept Simeon as a guarantee they’d return. He’d demanded they bring back Benjamin, and he’d put all their money back into their bags. Things sure looked bleak for Jacob and his sons. The brothers’ hearts fell, and they wondered, “What has God done to us?” And, Jacob, too, responded with dejection, stating, “Everything is against me.”
Are those not the very feelings we have in times of distress? We don’t understand God. We feel like the whole world is against us. Hearts sink. Fear takes hold, and we can become so discouraged.
As Piper stated, God is always at work in ways we cannot see. For the sinning brothers, there would be mercy. For the mourning father, there would be reuniting and joy. But, not on this day. On this day brothers and father alike were fearful and sad.
Yet, God was at work and the house of Jacob could not see it at all. How could they?
John Piper’s words sank deep into me on Saturday. They bear repeating; they are so biblical.
“God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.”
These words and this narrative are both a reminder and a comfort.
—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything