There are some things that I understand so much better now than I did when I first graduated from college. For example, after completing my internship in music therapy I worked for a year in a nursing home. I was exposed to many things such as loss of independence, physical suffering and pain, and death. While I look back and see how I had still reached out to the residents on my unit and made good relationships with the nursing staff, I also see how I would have done some things differently. I would have been even more sympathetic to the pain of the families as they were witnessing their loved one's last days. I cared about them then, but now I would have more understanding of their pain. Today, we will be reading verses where we will see how Joseph's brothers matured and have a lot more understanding than they did so many years before. Please read Genesis 44:18-34.
Just to remind you where I left off yesterday, Joseph had framed Benjamin for stealing a cup from his palace. Joseph declared that Benjamin would now be his slave. Imagine how that must have ripped out the hearts of Joseph's brothers because they knew what this would do to Jacob. We see Judah's response; it is a response of maturity and responsibility. Perhaps now that he is a father, he understands better the feelings that Jacob had for Joseph. Maybe he now understood that he was projecting his love for his lost wife on to Joseph and Benjamin. Maybe it was Jacob's suffering after losing Joseph that gave him better understanding. Whatever the case may be, it is obvious that he now understood that his father could not take another loss like losing Rachel and Joseph.
As we grow older, we have experienced more things in life that gives us an understanding of how a person may be feeling. This should also be the case in our spiritual walks as well. As we are growing in our walk with Christ, we should be experiencing things that give us a better understanding of God's love for all of us. This understanding and experience will help us to love those around us with the love of Christ. Judah's understanding and love led him to a place where he was willing to sacrifice his freedom for his father's happiness. Our understanding of Christ's love and sacrifice for us grows the more we walk with Him and should transform our hearts and change us. We will find ourselves being willing to sacrifice our preferences and comfort in order to show God's love to others.
Look back on your life...do you see changes? Do you see changes that reflect Christ's sacrifice for you?
This post is linked with On Your Heart Tuesdays and Soli Deo Gloria.