A Pastor’s Ponderings – Genesis 42:36

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And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me. — Genesis 42:36

As I’ve grown older, I’ve found myself enjoying a stroll through antique shops and watching shows on television like “American Picker.”  I look at the things they find and at the things people are selling in the antique shops and I say things like, “We used to have that” or “I remember playing with those when I was small.”  I see what people have found at flea markets or yard sales and now they are selling them for a great price.

The problem for me, when I search for things like that, is that I don’t know the difference between what is treasure and what is trash.  There are things that I’ve tossed out as trash that now are probably worth a lot of money.  We all could probably say the same thing.  (I even used to put my baseball and football cards on my bicycle wheels with clothespins to make them flap on the spokes.)

The thing is though, there are things that the Lord has allowed to come into my life that I thought were trash, but they actually ended up being a treasure.  You see, I am not always able to see things as they really are. I can’t always distinguish how what comes my way could be a treasure.  One preacher said, “Kings sometimes come to our doors dressed as beggars; blessings are often disguised as curses.”  I’m reminded of a statement Jacob made in Genesis 42:36.  His sons had just returned from their first trip to Egypt to buy food and they tell their father, Jacob, about being accused as spies and how Simeon was held in prison until they came back.  Jacob said, all these things are against me.  Often that is how we perceive the events of our lives.

All that Jacob thought was against him was just part of Joseph’s plan to get the whole family near to him in Egypt.  You see, those things that we look at as being against us God so often allows them in His perfect plan to draw us closer to Him. Those things you are dealing with in your life today may look like trash to you, but God may have a treasure in the middle of it to draw you closer to Him.

There are times in some difficulty or trial in my life that I have cried out to the Lord to remove it, but He, as He did in the Apostle Paul’s life, chose to leave it but gave me grace and strength to handle it.  And through it, He revealed His great power at work in my life.  Your situation may look like trash to you today, but look closely, you may just find the treasure that God has intended it to be.  That is where our faith must remain fixed upon Him.  I once read the statement that faith isn’t necessarily the power to make things the way we want them to be; it is the courage to face things as they are.