The Bigger Picture
I tore open the envelope like it was the winning lottery ticket. Surely it would confirm the desire of my heart. After all those months of waiting, today would tell the story! A longing would be fulfilled. But I couldn’t believe my eyes as I read the rejection letter; I was not accepted at the school of my choice. I thought my heart would break. As a graduating senior at the top of my class, I should have been accepted. Everyone already knew that’s where I was headed. Until the door shut. I cried for weeks. But once I got over the shock, my parents encouraged me to apply to a school in Springfield, Missouri. Before long, I was accepted, but I thought it was less-than-best, second choice, and merely the leftovers. I didn’t see the bigger picture back then. I was only 17 but even today I can miss that truth. God had something better in mind. My disappointment became His appointment to something better. You see, not only did I form lifelong friendships there, but I met my husband at this school. I had been praying since I was a little girl for God to bring the right man into my life some day. What I didn’t realize then was that God was engineering circumstances to bring about His will for me. He saw what I couldn’t see. I learned that God had a bigger picture in mind than the issues at hand.
Read Genesis 45:1-3
1. After hearing Judah’s plea and realizing his brothers had truly changed, what did Joseph do? What was his first question and why were his brothers not able to answer him?
Read Genesis 45:4-8
2. How does Joseph let his brothers know he had forgiven them?
3. What truth about God is revealed in Joseph’s statement?
4. What do you think is significant about Joseph “preserving for them a remnant”?
Read Genesis 45:9-11
5. How did Joseph plan to bless his family? What do you notice about his concern for their father?
Read Genesis 45:12-15
6. Describe the emotions of Joseph and his brothers after he promised to take care of them.
God took Joseph through the pit and the prison to eventually rule in the palace. Joseph tried to convince his brothers that they should not be angry with themselves for what they did. He assured them he was sent head of them to preserve their lives. He assured them that God had made him lord of all Egypt. His pain was not wasted but used by God to protect and provide for them. Joseph mentioned preserving for them a remnant to build their confidence that they would be a great nation some day. That they didn’t need to be afraid he would retaliate for all the pain they caused him. Truly, God had a bigger picture in mind than the issues Joseph faced as a young man. When we walk through trials, can we say the same thing…that God allowed the pain for a higher purpose. Sometimes, we just don’t know what God is up to!