I like the story about Joseph, the young man in the book of Genesis who had been sold into slavery by his jealous brothers.

After some very rough years passed, he successfully interpreted a dream for Pharaoh. Impressed by Joseph’s knowledge, Pharaoh appointed him second in command to himself. In that role Joseph became in charge of storing food for upcoming hard times, saving Egypt from the famine to come.

When the famine affected Joseph’s family in Canaan, his brothers came to buy food from him in Egypt. Joseph gradually revealed that he’s the brother they had sold into slavery. Naturally, his brothers feared for their lives. But this is the beautiful conclusion Joseph came to and what he told them:

“…do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.” (Genesis 45:5)

I would like to look that way at the life I’ve lived.

Writing the stories of pain and how Jesus was there for those afflicted have helped me find peace in my own life. Helping those who have been hurt, show how the pain affected them, has—I pray—brought the better understanding and acceptance I intended.

As a result of the work God gave me, I pray that the voices who were not being heard will be more carefully listened to. And I pray that there will be an effort made by those who love Jesus to share their love with those who need him so very badly.  I pray that they will follow Jesus in how he healed the outcasts of his day by bringing healing to the stigmatized of today.

I believe God intended everything that was painful in my life to help me serve him today.

Our God is a God of love and forgiveness. And this is how he works.