Trusting God in the middle of traumatic events is a difficult thing. In that moment all you know is pain and suffering. It is a moment when you cry out to the Lord for relief, for some positive sign that he is listening to your prayer. You question God’s wisdom, yet reassurance comes in small ways.
I think of Jacob in Genesis 42 sitting in the midst of a famine. In verse 1-2 he sends his sons to Egypt to buy grain “so that we may live and not die (NASB).” He is still mourning the loss of his son Joseph and is fearful he will lose yet another son: “But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, for he said, “I am afraid that harm may befall him (verse 4).” Years after he lost his son Joseph he is still mourning and now he is trying to save his family during a famine.
What Jacob does not realize at that moment, as his sons head to Egypt, is that God had been at work for years to save them. Jacob did not realize that his son had been sacrificed to save his family. All he knows is grief as he watches his sons leave for Egypt. Yet it is that moment of grief and loss that sets in motion a new thing that Jacob could not comprehend. He eventually learns that God is watching over them, that he had a plan to save them.
In the midst of our grief, in the middle of our loss, it can be difficult to see or understand God’s plan. We may never know on this earth the reasons for what God lets happen to us. Yet we can trust God that our temporary moments of sorrow are for a purpose — God’s purpose. He may give us a glimpse of that purpose as Joseph said in Genesis 45:7: “God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance;” and Jacob declared in Genesis 46:30: “Now let me die, since I have seen your face, that you are still alive.” Neither one lived to see God’s greater plan, the Exodus from Egypt.
© 2021 CGThelen