The Sowing and Reaping You Cannot See
Who likes being hurt? Who likes being offended or their heart broken? I don't think anyone likes to feel the feeling of betrayal from someone that we have come to know and trust over time. It is especially painful when it is someone very close to us like a spouse, friend or even a family member.
No matter what the offense to you, the pain can be excruciating like someone that has been stabbed in the chest repeatedly. You are bewildered at best, confused and angry. The hard part of it all in the midst of the offense done against you is that you don't stop loving the one that hurt you.
You want to know why they chose to not think of the pain they would cause with their actions. You want to cause emotional or bodily harm to the person for what they may have caused your relationship or family. All you know in the middle of all of the drama that is going on around you is that you want that person that hurt you and that you still love to feel the pain that you are feeling right now.
No one likes to admit it but we do. We want the same thing they did to us to happen to them. We focus on the offense and it begins to consume our everyday existence. It is all we can think about, all we can talk about to anyone that will listen to us. We are so far gone that sometimes we can even pray to God asking for retribution on the offense that has been done to us.
Oh come on now don't act like i am the only one that has done that. I know I am not. I just choose to admit that I want justice! So now admit to yourself that emotion, that prayer, the request to the Lord begging Him to get your accusers. Now that you have done that......get over yourself!
I am not saying by any means that your emotions are not important or that God does not know that you have been hurt, maimed, disrespected and that you are crying inside not knowing how or when the healing will begin.The first thing you need to know is that we are no different than those in Biblical times who went through being offended or hurt or betrayed by those they loved. Sometimes however we need to go beyond our pain to see there is a bigger picture being laid out before us.
Take Joseph who according to the Book of Genesis in the Holy Bible was sold into slavery by his own brothers who were jealous of him. Wow talk about offense! Talk about betrayal and being hated by those you love! Joseph knew offense, he absolutely did.The very people that he trusted, those he thought always would have his back, always would be there for him and never do him harm were the very ones that were seeking to only think of themselves.
Once Joseph was in bondage in Egypt he was not only enslaved he was imprisoned for several years. However, according to the scriptures we don't read about Joseph complaining, we don't hear him one time in the midst of it all bad mouthing the brothers he loved. He allowed time to come in and make him into the man he was meant to be.This brings out a lot of things you might want to consider in your own situation.
- Just because you have been hurt you cannot let it hold you still
- Take the time in the middle of the pain to focus on you. There is purpose in your pain
- Pray more it will help you to center yourself and not focus so much on your situation
- Offer yourself to others during this time. Remember there is always someone else who is worse off than you.
- Pick up that old hobby you had or project you put aside and see it through
- Forgive the offender
- Love the offender anyway
- Repeat the last two steps
Letting Go, Letting God
I know what you are thinking right now. "Who cares about the wonderful story of Joseph and what his brothers did to him. I just want to know how to make that person who hurt me, hurt and feel the way I do right now".
Sorry you're not going to get that instruction here but you will get something a whole lot better.What you will be introduced to is the story of Joseph that does not get talked about much but is certainly there.
First, lets look at the scripture in Galations 6:7 Be not deceived, God is not mocked. What a man sows he reaps.
Now I don't know about you but that is very clear is it not? The comfort I get from this is that there is nothing I have to do. I don't have to pray about another person's demise or ask God to get them or pray the imprecation prayer found at Psalm 35. No, I won't have to do a thing except lean on the Lord and the promises in His word. The other thing I must do is focus on that list especially the last two bullets posted previously.
So now that we know that no matter what we do there is a consequence, this puts an entire new spin the story of Joseph and your story as well. Yes we read about the trials of Joseph, we know he was accused of wanting to sleep with Potiphar's wife and he was imprisoned. All because he had been betrayed by his brothers his entire life changed. However look at what the end result was! One of triumph and overcoming adversity.
All of this time while Joseph lived his life in Egypt the story of his brothers didn't end. It could not have because eventually they make their way back into the story in Joseph's life. So what happened to them while Joseph grew up and became a man that would lead Egypt?
You will notice that the brothers returned home to their father Isreal or Jacob who could not have taken the news of his favorite son very well. The guilt for many years that Joseph's brothers held knowing that they had sold their brother into slavery, lied to their father and deceived both he and Joseph must have been difficult. We are talking about young men that wanted attention and adoration from their father and were jealous of their own brother.
These young men had to have for years carried an immense amount of guilt knowing the real truth behind the disappearance of their younger brother and that they were responsible. In the midst of it all according to the Bible, Jacob became close to Joseph's younger brother Benjamin giving him the attention and protection he gave Joseph. Still what the brothers believed they would get from their father with Joseph out of the way, they didn't get. Isn't it interesting how when things that are done dishonestly for personal gain at the demise of another it never works out?
We also see during the time of famine that Jacob sent his sons into Egypt to buy grain so that they would eat and would not die. This part of the story is another indication of the struggle the brothers experienced. Basically the lives they led were not happy and fulfilling. Of course they went on with their lives carrying that horrible secret with them. The level of shame, guilt, disappointment from still not getting the attention from their father they wanted may have been enough however, it wasn't over.
Going further into the story when the brothers finally made it to Egypt to buy grain, Joseph told them to go back and bring his younger brother Benjamin with them and leave another brother as collateral! My goodness not only were they in the middle of a famine, now they had to return to their grief stricken father and tell him "We didn't get the food, and we have to bring back Benjamin, oh and by the way Dad he kept Simeon!" They even mention amongst themselves that they are being punished for what they had done to their younger brother Joseph years ago! They knew the law of sowing and reaping and that there was nothing they could do except go through the process of doing what was instructed of them or never see Simeon again.My goodness what a heavy load that must have been knowing and understanding why things are happening to you because you have offended or hurt someone.
Do you see now how in the middle of Joseph's story there was another story going on behind the scenes? Though Joseph was betrayed in the worst way by those who loved him, he went through his journey while his brothers went through theirs. We cannot forget that in the midst of it all. In the middle of our pain and wanting to see justice, through this story understand that God was working on Joseph's behalf by dealing with his brothers. The brothers experienced guilt, shame, living with a lie for years upon years, deceit. They also experienced famine or hunger and they never got the attention that they so desired from their father though the intention based on their actions of getting rid of Joseph was just to do that.
We must not forget that in the middle of our pain when we believe that justice will never be served for the offense that has been done to us God is behind the scenes working it out for us. Never forget. Never underestimate the power of sitting still and remaining silent.
In your hour of pain it is your job to trust the process. The healing and the prayer and the meditation is your responsibility to work on. Take that pain and make it your triumph. Do not take matters into your own hands. As we see here in this story that focuses so much on Joseph there was another story happening at the same time. This allows us to see that even though we may not see the reaping or the results of someone's actions against us, the law of sowing and reaping is succinct.
Keep praying and understanding the process of going on with your life and becoming who you are supposed to be in the middle of your trial. A battle is being fought on your behalf that if you sit still long enough and remain silent you will see, like Joseph did the offenders again.
When that days comes we must learn to be like our Father in heaven and forgive, love and welcome them with open arms.
LOVE LIVE BREATHE