Dr. Randy Carlson
In my previous blog, How to Respond to a National Crisis, we looked at the first of four kinds of crisis in our lives, taken from this month’s Intentional Living teaching with Dr. Randy Carlson, How to Biblically Respond to a Crisis. They answered the question as to how we should respond to four different kinds of crisis in our lives:
- a national crisis.
- a group crisis.
- a family crisis.
- a personal crisis.
Today, let’s look at the third one – a family crisis.
Maybe you’ve had a crisis in your family, in your marriage or other relationships.
Joseph, the second youngest of 12 sons, dreamed dreams. When he was just 17 years old, he had another dream. He then told his brothers about the dream, which was probably not the first thing should have done. He said to his brothers, “Look, I have dreamed another dream, and this time the sun, the moon, and the 11 stars bowed down to me” (Genesis 37:9 NKJVJ).
The dream foretold Joseph’s 11 brothers were going to bow down to him, and that developed a crisis of jealousy and competition within his family. Because of that crisis, Joseph’s brothers wanted to get rid of him, and they sold him into slavery.
God had another plan for Joseph to use the decisions made as a result of this crisis, not only to save the Egyptians, but also his brothers. If we fast forward to the end of Genesis, in Chapter 50, Joseph’s brothers are standing before him, and Joseph’s prophecy foretold in his dream is being fulfilled. Joseph is a ruler in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. He has access to food and protection for all his family. His brothers bow before him in fear, concerned they were about to lose their heads.
“When the brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, ‘behold, we are your servants’” (Genesis 50:18 NKJV). Think of the crisis they’re going through. These guys were starving, and they thought they would be killed. Look what Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid for I am in the place of God. But as for you, you meant evil for me, but God meant it for good in order to bring it about as it is today to save many people alive” (Genesis 50:19-20).
Joseph had an opportunity to really pay his brothers back. It’s so easy to have the spirit of revenge, but Joseph chose to take a different point in forgiving and providing for these brothers who had – during a time of crisis – sold him into slavery.
It’s not what happens to you that matters as much as what happens in you.
Think about the crisis you are going through now. You can get so caught up in the experience, the pain, the disappointment and unmet expectations that you lose the truth of what God is doing.
In the middle of crisis, ask God:
- What are you doing?
- What can I learn through this?
- How can I strengthen my character?
- How can I become more of the man or woman you want me to be in my relationship with you?
Look at the heart Joseph had. Imagine going through all he went through, and he still had a heart to be able to come back to his brothers in this family crisis and tell them: “It’s not what you did to me that matters. It’s what God is doing in me that matters.”
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