Expanding Our Understanding of How God Works
It’s not hard to see that God’s viewpoint doesn’t always match our own. The sons of Israel saw their brother Joseph, their father’s favorite, as a threat to their status. So rather than try to work out their differences, they tried to get rid of him. But God had a different perspective: he saw Joseph as one sent ahead of his brothers to save them from famine.
Now God had even more in mind than the survival of these twelve brothers and their families. He used Joseph to save the whole region from destruction. Along the way, he also put an end to his siblings’ competitiveness, to bring them to repentance for their murderous jealousy, and to bring about a true reconciliation.
The story of Joseph and his brothers aptly illustrates how narrow our vision of God can be. We petition him and thank him for supplying for our material needs, but we don’t ask him to help us grow in compassion and holiness. This, we presume, is all up to us. Or we get to the point at which we are able to give up resentment and try to forget how someone has hurt us, but we don’t ask God to help us make the next step toward actual reconciliation. Or we faithfully pray for the needs of our families and friends, but we think our prayers won’t make any difference when it comes to world events like famine or war or injustice.
Don’t let this happen! Remember who you are—a beloved child of God. You are important to him! He wants to do good things for you—and through you. He hears all of your prayers, even your “impossible” ones, and he answers them in his time and according to his wisdom.
God is constantly at work, not only saving individuals, but also restoring his whole creation to the beauty, peace, and fruitfulness he has intended for it. So take a step back today, and try to look at life from his perspective. Let this God-focused vision move you to pray the bigger prayers he delights in answering.
“Father, I know you love me, and I know you love your world. Help me see this world through your eyes of love so that I can pray more effectively.”
Daily Reflection from The Word Among Us (www.wau.org)