Lesson learnt in a ditch

Devotions. The art of collecting your thoughts and writing it down while it is bathed with the Scriptures. A response when your life meets the living Word.

I’ve always experienced a surge of clarity in my heart every time I do it. Wonder why I don’t do it more often? Strange.

When their message came to him, Joseph wept. His brother then came and threw themselves down before him, “We are your slaves,” they said.

But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide of you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

Genesis 50:18-21

What are mere mortals that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?

Psalm 8:4

We all know what it’s like when harm is being inflicted on us. Especially when we have our dreams and ideals in our hearts being taken away. It’s one thing for people to brush off your boasting of “What God has ordained you to do”, it’s quite another for your immediate family to throw you into a ditch and tell your father you’re dead. I’m not sure if I could deal with that kind of injustice.

There was once we could boast of our ideals in our childhood, only for others to shut it down. Jam a roadblock on your dreamy path to greatness. That little word of discouragement. The ill-informed advice. The mockery of your foolishness.

For some of us, we still don’t know how our story will turn out. For some of us, we are still nursing old bruises and open wounds from being thrown into a ditch, left for dead.

For Joseph, the story of triumph is not that he came from the lowest point and ascend to a position of power in dramatic fashion. The defining moment of his life arrives when he comes face-to-face with the very people who threw him away, whom by their very actions a long time ago said, “You will never ever achieve your dreams.” Try imagining that.

What Joseph understood and learn is that he’s not the judge here. His dreams are after all from God. Just like the angel assuring Mary, “Do not be afraid,” here he shows the act of grace, the unmerited favor that God has shown to him. It takes one who have been gifted with favor to understand what’s this grace thing is about. It takes a showering of goodness for a person to overcome evil with good.

Who am I to judge those who crush my dreams, saying it’s futile? It is after all a God-inspired idea. So let Him accomplish it for those are who are called into His purpose. Let Him do that work. What I am called for, what I should focus on – is to be an agent of grace. Like Joseph, a vessel to show God’s unmerited favor. Or at least a glimpse of it. He will take care of the rest. He will carry me through the valley of shadow of death. Out of that ditch.

Who am I, that you are mindful of me? A human being that you should take care of me? I’m just a mess of clay.

Am I right to demand that what You make me for, You must accomplish till its completion? Oh, YOU have infinitely more desire to do that than I ever would. Why should I be fearful? When all I need is to hear your still small voice. Prompting me to be this agent of grace.

For in the end, isn’t the losing of my life what allows me to find it? Wouldn’t be the first be last and the last be first? That in the act of saving another, we save ourselves?


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