IT. Two little letters that we merely gloss over as we read our favorite book or read through a newspaper article.
IT. A pronoun. “Used to refer to a thing previously mentioned or easily identified.”
Jacob (renamed Israel because he wrestled with God), was about to die. Joseph’s brothers became so fearful because they thought that Joseph was still bitter and angry with them for selling him into slavery so many years before. So, to try to make Joseph continue to show grace and mercy toward them, they “bind” him with this commandment that they said came from their father:
“Your father gave this command before he died:… Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.” (Genesis 50:16-17, ESV)
Joseph told them, through tears:
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Genesis 50:20, ESV)
“God meant IT for good.” Think about all that IT entails: Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers because of their hatred for him, probably connected to the fact that he was dad’s favorite; Joseph becoming the slave of Potiphar; Joseph wrongfully imprisoned because of the false accusations of a Potiphar’s wife. But in all of the 13 years of this portion of Joseph’s sojourning, it finally took him before Pharoah to interpret a dream telling of a determined famine that was going to hit the land. And this lead to Joseph’s promotion to number two over all of Egypt, coming up with and implementing a plan to survive the famine which impacted the whole world around Egypt.
That is what is entailed and wrapped up in the word “IT” here.
So when we are in the middle of “it”, let us remember Joseph and all that “it” entailed for him. He had freedom from bitterness and had extended forgiveness, grace, mercy, love, care, and concern toward his brothers because he saw “IT” from God’s perspective. He saw God’s good which made the evil intentions of his brothers obsolete.
As I wrote out Psalm 50:20 in my journal this morning, I then wrote this prayer: Please always keep me at a pace that I see from your perspective instead of ignorantly and arrogantly jumping to my own limited conclusions.
With whatever your “it” is, hang in there. God’s perspective sees the junk of life that you’re going through, but God also sees all that he’s doing that is for good through “it” as well.
Love you more than you know,