“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good . . .” – Genesis 50:20
There once was a legendary sports trainer at the University of the South in Tennessee (better known as Sewanee) who had served the school’s football team for over forty years. At the time of his retirement he was asked what he considered to be the team’s best season. “The team’s best season,” he replied, “is the one coming up.”
During the years of raising our children I would often seek my mother’s wise counsel when difficult parenting issues arose regarding one or the other of our two sons. After listening to me for a while she would always tell me the same thing. “Ah, he’s going to turn out fine. He’s a good boy.” She was right, of course; for today they are both fine responsible men with families of their own. But how did she know?
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” retells the biblical story about Joseph who because of the favoritism shown to him by his father was betrayed by his jealous brothers, only to rise up and become a powerful figure in the Egyptian kingdom who would one day rescue those same brothers from starvation. The brothers, as you can imagine, later feared retribution from their deceived younger brother. But Joseph urged them to lay their fears aside. “Don’t be afraid,” he said, “You meant to harm me, but God intended it for good.”
The legendary sports trainer was not necessarily predicting a winning season when he said “the team’s best season is the one coming up”. Nor were my mother’s remarks, “ah, he’s going to turn out fine” meant to condone our children’s misbehavior or our parenting mistakes. Rather, both recognized, as Joseph did, that “God intended it for good” – that is, God’s goodness always prevails. Or as the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” (Romans 8:28)
For this very reason, I can predict with certainty that our best season ever, yours and mine, is “the one coming up.” I know this because God works in all things for our good. . . . Abundant Living will return January 2, 2017. In the meantime, wishing each of you a Merry Christmas and a blessed holiday season.