Genesis 45:3-8 (NLT)
“I am Joseph!” he said to his brothers. “Is my father still alive?” But his brothers were speechless! They were stunned to realize that Joseph was standing there in front of them. “Please, come closer,” he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.
Very few things are as beautiful as a butterfly, but a butterfly doesn’t start its life beautiful. At some point, a pretty butterfly was a slimy caterpillar.
In butterflies as well as in the rest of nature, God teaches us some of the most profound truths about himself. As it says in Romans 1:20 “…Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature…”
Many like the fairy tale ending of Joseph’s life but most will balk at the thought of being sold into slavery by your own family and sent to jail for doing no wrong. The equanimity… joy even with which Joseph lived through his trials with nary a glimpse of where it was all leading is an important lesson on its own. But to think that after it all, Joseph forgave his brothers who sold him into slavery, now that is something else.
Think of it, why do we find it extremely difficult to see God at work behind some of the people who irritate and trouble us today? We are quick to call down the fire of the Holy ghost to roast all our ‘enemies’. If only we could actually share Joseph’s perspective. To his brothers who sold him into slavery he said, “But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives.”
Christians are often preoccupied with praying for their ‘destiny helpers’ but hardly does it ever cross our minds that they may come in the guise of ‘enemies of destiny’ as it was in the case of Joseph. In all of it, God was behind the scenes orchestrating his breakthrough. This account offers the lesson that it is important to be careful so we don’t short circuit what God is doing.
When the bible says “all things work together for good”, it of course suggests that all things may not appear good initially but that over time, God works to bring good out of every situation those who love him find themselves in.
So if today looks like a slimy caterpillar, you just focus on loving God and soon enough, a beautiful butterfly will emerge.