Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to suppress your feelings? Maybe it was because you were with your children and you were trying really hard to keep your cool when you were feeling so frustrated. Or maybe it was at work when you just wanted to cry over a bad day but needed to keep going and not let your co-workers see your emotional breakdown. Maybe it is even a painful memory brought to the forefront of your attention and you need to suppress your reaction to the memory. In the verses I am looking at today, we will read about Joseph needing to suppress his emotions. But ironically, it is through his suppression of feelings that we get a stronger taste of how he is feeling. We are finally getting a window into the emotion that must have been going through him on arrival to Egypt and now that he is face to face with his brothers. Yesterday, the verses I looked at ended with Joseph keeping one brother while the rest were to go back home with food for their families and bring Benjamin back with them to show that their story was true. Let's pick up the story in Genesis 42:19-28.
In these verses, we not only see the emotion Joseph felt as his brothers recounted the moment they sold him to slave traders, but we also see Joseph's mercy on his brothers. Instead of reacting with anger and hatred to their words, he responded with love. He sent them on their way with the grain but secretly had their money returned to them. He could have had them all stay in prison or become slaves themselves; however, he loved them and loved his father and his brother Benjamin. He fed their families for free and put into motion his plan to see his entire family. We also see the brothers' fear when they realized that their money was returned to them. They were afraid that they would all be punished, but they also didn't know what to do.
What is your reaction when a past wound is brought to your memory? I have been healed from some very deep wounds in my childhood. But healing doesn't mean that I have forgotten the wounds. Healing means that I respond differently to the memory of the wounds. Looking back on some of those painful wounds still brings a sadness to my heart; however, there is no bitterness or anger. God has helped to learn to forgive and to not let the bad stay bad. He has taken those painful moments in my past and used them to draw me all the more closer to Him. It is through the fact that I do not react with anger that God's glory shines through because it is only because of the work He has done in my heart that I can experience forgiveness. It is by desiring to get rid of the anger and giving it over to God that I began to receive the healing He had planned for me. We truly can heal from the biggest pain of our past and experience a desire to forgive.
Do you have past wounds that you react to? Can you give them over to God for complete healing?
This post is linked with The Grace Cafe and Thought Provoking Thursday.