I assume most of us know the story of Joseph, right? Joseph was his father Israel's (also known as Jacob) favorite son. But Joseph's brother's hated him, selling him into slavery, and telling Israel that Joseph was dead; killed by a wild animal. For years, Israel mourned the death of his beloved son. However, as Israel mourned, God was at work. God took Joseph from being a slave in Egypt to being Pharaoh's right hand man. As the second most powerful man in Egypt, Joseph prepared the country for seven years famine that were coming. The famine came to not only Egypt, but also to Canaan, the land where Israel and his remaining sons lived. Israel sent his sons to Egypt to buy grain and in God's sovereignty they did so from Joseph. As the story of Joseph and Israel comes to an end, the two are reunited and Joseph brings his two sons to meet their grandfather. As Israel, now an old man nearing death, embraces his grandsons he says, "I never expected to see your face [Joseph]; and behold, God has let me see your offspring also." (Gen. 48:11)
For years, Israel thought his son was dead. He had come to accept the perceived reality that Joseph was dead. But as he mourned, he had no idea all the good that God was accomplishing through Joseph. Here's the reality: God used Joseph in Egypt to save the lives of his entire family. Had there not been food available in Egypt (which Joseph was responsible for), Israel and all of his sons and daughters would have perished in the famine. Israel assumed he would die without seeing Joseph again, God had other plans.
Right now, it feels like we'll never see Ian again the way he was. As we see Ian lying in his bed, unable to talk or walk or laugh or make hilarious, sarcastic remarks, it seems like the old Ian is gone. It seems like we'll "never see his face" again. In many ways, it feels like the old Ian is dead.
But, like Israel, we have no idea all the good God is accomplishing in this. And, we can't begin to imagine what the future holds. We serve a God who loves to surprise his people. We serve a God who raises the dead. How kind is Jesus? Not only did he allow Israel to be reunited with his son, he also allowed Israel to see his grandsons! Oh, let's look forward to what the future holds! Though things seem bleak right now, though things seem as if they'll never change, let's look beyond the "reality" of the situation to the REALITY of our great God and Savior!
"Glory to God, the raiser of the dead...
Glory to God, the lifter of my head..."