“The famine has been over the land for the last two years, and for yet another five years there will be neither plowing nor harvest. God sent me ahead of you to ensure that you will have descendants on earth and to save your lives in a great deliverance. So it was not you who sold me, but God who sent me; and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of all his household and ruler over the whole land of Egypt. Hurry, go up to my father, and tell him, ‘Here is what your son Joseph says: ‘God has made me lord of all Egypt!’”
So, another year has passed and a new one is born. I usually find myself reflecting on my past during the first week or so of the new year and this year isn’t really any different. There are the moments where I relive the past in my mind’s eye. Those moments with the souls that are no longer here on earth, but dwell in our hearts and thoughts.
Inevitably, I come to the point where I examine all the ways that I have been in bondage. I realize I am held captive to many things: fear, the past, the future, the selfishness of my ego and my place in life.
I have been working my way through the book of Genesis these past few months and am at the point where Joseph has found favor with pharaoh and has revealed himself to his brother who had sold him into slavery many years before.
Joseph had been a slave even before his brothers sold him, a slave to narcissism and selfishness. Through the ups and downs of his journey, Joseph had grown and matured and was about to break free from being held captive by his ego.
Joseph’s brother Judah had undertaken Teshuva, or redemption, when he offers up his life for his younger brother Benjamin. This causes Joseph to reveal himself to his brothers, they in turn seek forgiveness. This is where Joseph makes a profound statement showing us, he has indeed been transformed.
“It was not you who sold me, but God who sent me.” These words resonated with me. I suddenly realized that all these things I am captive to, nobody is to blame for them. My roller coaster life is not someone else’s fault, and the place I am at now, well, maybe God has sent me to this point in my life.
Letting Joseph’s words sink deeper into my soul, maybe, just maybe, God has brought me to this point because I am already at the place in my life where I am supposed to be. While I know that ultimately, I am free, maybe if I continue down the path of love and continue to work on teshuva, I will discover inner peace.
I hope that Joseph’s words will resonate within you as well, that you will find deep meaning in them too. If you feel led to do so, please leave a comment telling us about what you are captive to, and how Joseph’s words have had an impact on you.