Today’s Bible readings can be found here: Genesis 45:1-15 and Mark 12:1-17.

Genesis 45:7 “But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” (NIV)

Sometimes I wonder why God brought me from Scotland to become a pastor in the United States. The trans-Atlantic move initially disrupted our family and caused some painful separation from our friends, but I believe that God’s hand was preparing the way and His will was being fulfilled for some purpose, or purposes, that I still cannot always comprehend. Whatever the reason, I hope that what God wants with my life is still being done.

No matter how often I read or hear about the story of Joseph in the Book of Genesis, his encounter with his brothers in Egypt amazes me. When he proceeds to forgive them of the past by declaring all that happened was God’s doing, it touches my heart deeply. Instead of punishing them for selling him, Joseph finally pardons and embraces them. Rather than getting revenge, Joseph gives glory to God for directing his life to the point where he can offer his whole estranged family salvation. It’s a wonderful story of forgiveness and love, purpose and meaning, which still inspires many people today.

Perhaps we should all take the time to reflect on our own journey and think about the wonders God has shaped and performed in our lives. We all have special moments, choices, and events which change us completely. If we see them as a part of God’s purpose for our lives, then we will come to understand that there is a higher hand in all that we seek to accomplish and do. Perhaps, like Joseph, we will realize how often God walks ahead of us and keeps all of our tomorrows in His hands.

Point to ponder:

What are the most crucial events in my life? How was God involved in them?

Prayer:  Lord God, Your ways are often mysterious and we cannot fully fathom Your thoughts. Help us to look back to the past and see those moments of Your kindness and concern, as well as Your help and healing throughout our lives. Keep us faithful to Your will and continue to direct our journey. In Christ’s Name, we pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s latest drawings called ‘Promised Blessing.’ If you would like to view a larger version, click here.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee