Looking Beyond the Walls
When you look at Joseph’s life nothing seems straight forward and simple. His upbringing and home of origin was filed with all kinds of challenges. At the age of 17, he was sold into slavery and trucked off to a distant country with all kinds of strange cultural and life settings. He ended up in a jail, framed for something he didn’t do after years of devoted service to God and to his master as we saw on Sunday. It was nothing short of a wild ride.
Yet each step of the way, on the horizon, there was hope. Joseph’s faith in God helped him look beyond what was happening, both good and bad, to trust in a God who was bigger than any issue in his life. His circumstances might have destroyed him but he knew the secret lay beyond the temporal and was found in what the writer to the Hebrews so wisely states, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
One day, John Wesley was walking with a troubled man who expressed his doubt as to the goodness of God. He said, “I do not know what I shall do with all this worry and trouble.” At the same moment, Wesley saw a cow looking over a stone wall. “Do you know,” asked Wesley, “why that cow is looking over the wall?” “No,” said the man who was worried. Wesley said, “The cow is looking over the wall because she cannot see through it. That is what you must do with your wall of trouble—look over it and avoid it.” Joseph’s faith enabled him to look past the varied circumstances of his life and see God.
It’s a new week and we look ahead to better weather. We could not celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday with family and friends like we normally do because of social distancing but God has been good. I would encourage you, this week, when you have time, to read Hebrews 11 and stop as you read it to think about the journeys of faith of these people. I believe they are part of the “great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV) presently cheering us on by their testimonies. Who knows, maybe they are actually cheering us on from Heaven (Conservative commentators such as M.R, DeHaan believed this along with others!!!!) I'd like to think so!
Remember that there are situations that we cannot see through but we have a Saviour who will see us through! Determine to live daily by, “faith in the Son of God who loved you and gave Himself for you.” (Galatians 2:20) Keep looking over and up!
We close today’s reflection with the beautiful words of Stuart Townend. May they both encourage and motivate you as you walk by faith.
“There is a hope that lifts my weary head,
A consolation strong against despair,
That when the world has plunged me in its deepest pit,
I find the Saviour there!
Through present sufferings, future’s fear,
He whispers ‘courage’ in my ear.
For I am safe in everlasting arms,
And they will lead me home.”
In Christian love – Pastor Ralph