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A Blessing in Disguise

Written By Larry Pray

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.”
—Genesis 45:4-5

I did not expect the building blocks of literature to form the core of my appreciation for Scripture. Biblical stories were stories, each with a point, a character or two, and a compelling insight. But my teachers saw them in a different light.
They spoke of plots that thicken.

They asked us to find story lines that took unexpected twists and turns.

They pointed out the false leads and reversals of fortune.

They insisted that the frame of a story was a critical to understanding the story.

They noted when prose yielded to poetry, and when poetry yielded to prose.

In short, they amplified the stories we were to learn, love and share in the course of our lives. In so doing they revealed that Scripture mirrors life.

I suspect that each one of us can find a time when the difficulty that came our way turned out to be a blessing. Alcoholics note that they might never have achieved the serenity of sobriety were it not for the ravages of addiction. Patients recovering from a heart attack note with appreciation how their near demise caused them to reassess the priorities of life. Arguments between children that bring us to the edge of despair turn out to pave the way for a deeper relationship.

Joseph's brothers threw him down a well and left him to die. But the story did not end there. Joseph was unexpectedly rescued. And then, wonder of wonders, it turned out he could interpret dreams and, not only that, but the ruler of Egypt wondered what his dreams were about.

In the end, when reunited with his guilty brothers, there were tears of forgiveness and reconciliation. In the reversal of fortune we find life.

Wonderful Counselor, we give thanks for the ever-so-complex stories of our lives and the rich stories of faith that surround us with a call to life.

Copyright © 2008 Larry Pray.