“When he summoned a famine on the land and broke all supply of bread, he had sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. His feet were hurt with fetters; his neck was put in a collar of iron; until what he had said came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him. The king sent and released him; the ruler of the peoples set him free; he made him lord of his house and ruler of all his possessions, to bind his princes at his pleasure and to teach his elders wisdom” Psalm 105:17-22
These verses describe Joseph’s tale in Genesis. His jealous brothers bound him and left him to die. He was sold into slavery, but lived. God eventually raised Joseph up to be second only to the King, just when his brothers needed him the most during a time of famine. Because of Joseph’s wise reliance and trust in God, Egypt had obediently stored grain away in advance.
People ask why bad things happen to good people, or to be more precisely, believers. Yes, it is because of free will in a fallen, broken world. Tragedy may teach us to depend more on Him. But this part of Psalm 105 gives another reason. Perhaps, it is because someone else will go through something similar. Through our triumph and faith, we can help release their bounds and bind them to God’s love.
When tragedy hits us, we feel bound by circumstances and shackled by tragedy. But if we stay in the Word, and trust God enough to listen to Him, we will make it through. The lessons we learn during that time will be stored up inside us. God knows there will someday be someone experiencing the same tragedy. He may prompt us to be there to help someone through their famine of hurt, anger, doubt and loss. We can be the nourishment they need because God has stored it up in us, preparing us for just that time.
Dear Lord, we are bound to run into tragedy and unfairness in our lives. Teach us that You can turn evil happenings into good results and use us and our experiences to draw close to You so we can then be free to draw others as well. Amen.
Once again turn your scars and pain over to God for His use. Ask Him to reveal to you someone who may benefit from your tragedy.
Further reading: Making Sense of Suffering