The people of Genesis really stood out to me. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob...and at the end, Joseph. Some of them I really relate to, some I do not. Joseph is one of the ones that I wish I related to SO MUCH. If I could sum up Joseph in one word, I think it would be "perspective." He was able to see the BIG picture. He trusted that God would work things out-even when he was sold into slavery by his brothers, even when he was thrown into prison because of Potipher's wife, even when he was forgotten by the cup bearer. He maintained perspective through the whole thing and did not question God. The final chapter has verses that I have read over and over, Joseph is talking to those same brothers that sold him into slavery and he says,
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." (Genesis 50:20).
And I wish that my response to hardship and suffering was that God is in control. To look at the big picture and TRUST that whatever is being done has purpose in shaping me and refining my character. Generally I just throw a temper tantrum and act like a five year old-I whine and complain that it is hard. I might end up in a place of trusting God but it is usually after several other responses-anger, sadness, fear, etc. Really all those guys in Genesis end up in a place of trusting God. I love the verse in Hebrews that says, "By faith, Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God." (Hebrews 11:8-10). Abraham never saw the city-but he trusted that God would build it. Isaac and Jacob too. I want to be a person that trusts the Architect and Builder - who has promised me a life abundant.