You intended to harm me …. (The Story, page 42)
Joseph was speaking to his brothers, the ones who had wanted to kill him but sold him as a slave instead. The same brothers who lied to his father, convincing him that Joseph had been devoured by wild animals. These brothers were relieved that Joseph was out of their lives for good and confident that they would never see him again … or so they thought.
… but God intended it for good …. (The Story, page 42)
You know the “rest of the story.” After being kicked out of his seriously dysfunctional family, life for Joseph did not get better … at least not for long. He’s taken as a slave to Egypt where he’s falsely accused and imprisoned, and there he is forgotten. Though he really tried to do the right things, everything seemed to blow up in his face.
Who could blame Joseph if he had given up? But he didn’t! And neither did his God! The circumstances often seemed desperate and even hopeless, but “the Lord was with him.” God’s plan was to fulfill the dreams He’d put in Joseph’s heart years earlier. Even though Joseph spent years in prison, God knew exactly where he was and was preparing him for a “dream come true” assignment!
These words that Joseph spoke to his brothers (from the last chapter of Genesis) illustrate the distinct difference between the “Lower Story” (what we see and do) and the “Upper Story” (what God sees and does). Joseph lived in a tough world filled with tough challenges, but in his life the “Lower Story,” was never disconnected from the “Upper Story” – even though it certainly must have seemed like it at times. And the two “Stories” are not disconnected in our lives either!
Tonight, in addition to honoring a very special group of first-graders, we’ll be discussing and applying one of the most encouraging and practical stories you’ll ever read – Chapter 3 from “The Story.”
Church of Christ
5120 Franklin Road
Nashville, Tennessee 37220
Phone: (615) 832-2541
Fax: (615) 832-2583