Choose your lens…

Does anyone watch the show “Survivor” anymore? I guess they do, because it is still on as far as I can tell. I am not sure which is harder for those survivors-surviving the elements where they are, or surviving against their teammates.

I realized reading more on Joseph this morning, he had similar battles, except his was not a game show, and it lasted much longer than a few months. Oh, and he didn’t choose by his own will to be in his “show”. Who did choose though?

Today, he seems to be firm in his answer on that question. After the 20+ years of turmoil, difficulties, huge ups and downs, separation from family for decades-his conclusion to the whole experience is that God had a plan. He did not conclude he had absolutely rotten brothers. He did not conclude he had bad luck, good luck or both. He did not conclude that fortune was on his side. He saw all that had happened as the hand of God using the circumstances and his life to preserve his own family, and ultimately God’s remnant so His people and His plan would come to fruition. He goes so far as to say; “God sent me before you…”.

How did Joseph do this? How was he not bitter towards his brothers? There is no doubt they truly committed a grave wrong against him that drastically changed the course of his life. He could have sought revenge on them after all these years. He had the choice to look at what God was accomplishing through him or what had happened to him. His actions and his response depended on which lens he wanted to look at his life through. One would lead to justifiably punishing his brothers for the years of wrongs done to him. The other would lead to life for himself, his brothers, extended family and ultimately preserving God’s chosen people. We know which lens he chose to look through and to act on.

We have those same two lenses-the lens of life centered around us, our will, our desires, and wrongs done against us OR the lens of God’s will in our lives, and His using us to accomplish his purposes through us. Both will determine our responses and actions towards all of those around us in large and small ways. When I have to pick up after someone, I can be angry they have not put their things away, or I can see it as God giving me the opportunity to serve my family another day. When God puts a difficult person in your life, your can look at the wrongs and failures in that person or as the opportunity to be Christ-like towards them and show them what God’s love is like.

We may never be on game show Survivor, but we will be called every day to survive wrongs done by others as well as experience general struggles with day to day living. Joseph was able to go through all of this and conclude it was because God sent him. I pray we will be able to view life in the same way Joseph did. May we see God’s great work in our lives, may we overlook the faults of those around us, and by doing so, rejoice in His amazing Master plan in which He has chosen to include us.

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