Getting My Life Back
And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him and rescued him out of all his afflictions and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. Acts 7:9
We recently reminisced over a cute video of our kids from six summers ago. I instantly knew it was six summers ago because it was right before my life fell apart due to my addiction. Watching the video reminded me of how I felt at the time. I was happy to be together as a family, but I knew it wasn’t going to last. I knew my drug use had spiraled out of control and that soon, my dreadful secret would come to light, tearing my life apart – which it did, about a month after that video.
In my disaster, I knew nothing would ever be the same again. As far as I knew, my career was over, and my marriage wasn’t far behind. I wondered if I’d get to see my kids grow up, or if I’d just keep relapsing, cutting myself out of their lives forever. In the misery I’d caused, it was difficult to believe that life could be ever be good again.
It’s six years later though, and God has transformed everything. Though I’m far from perfect, my wife and I genuinely love and like each other now. Though dropping our son off for college this week has been sad, I’m able to be thankful for the profound privilege of raising my kids. I’m grateful for the last six years that God has given back to me.
Thankfully, redemption of evil is what God does. In today’s passage, we’re told how Joseph’s brothers, jealous of him, sold him into slavery. Far off, as a slave in Egypt, things looked grim. Joseph followed God though, and God was faithful, causing him to rise in status and power to the point where he saved Egypt, his people, and the very brothers who sold him in the first place. God took something dreadfully evil and transformed it into something beautiful.
We’re not necessarily promised our version of fixed. I didn’t get my old job back. Joseph didn’t return to live with his family. Transformation means life may never be the same. If we follow God though, he will turn evil into good. If we abandon ourselves to follow him, we’ll experience the blessed redemption that is found only in God’s grace and forgiveness.