You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20
When I read this verse, I get a little pep in my step. Honestly, to look back at people who may have hurt or harmed me and to be able to say, "Ha, you thought you got me, didn't you?" feels pretty good.
Genesis 50:20 is a verse I've clung to during this church planting season. But the other day, just as God would have it, He had me stumble upon the verse again in my Advent reading. This time, I took a longer look at the verse and the words spoken before them.
But Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid. Am I in the place of God?"
You see Joseph was speaking these words to his brothers. His brothers who had left him to die, who sold him as a slave and then told their father that Joseph was dead. Joseph had a right to be little angry, didn't he? So when God in His divine, perfect nature had them cross paths again, Joseph's brothers surely thought that Joseph with his power and prestige would use it to enact revenge upon them.
But, no. Am I in the place of God?
Sometimes, when I think about the people who have done hurtful things to me, I want them to pay. My flesh says, "an eye for an eye."
Thank God, He doesn't view me this way. Every sin, every misstep being an act that needs to be repaid.
It's not my place. God uses pain for His good, but if I'm caught in the trap of making other's pay I'll miss out on seeing that goodness. I'll miss out on seeing how God works - how he uses everything to His glory.
Jesus, took care of my past, present and future pain on the cross. He took my brokiness and made me whole. He didn't just do this for me - He did this also for all those who've hurt me. The same grace that covers me, covers my hurts and those who have inflicted the hurt.
What a Saviour!