Day 19: Genesis 44-45; Matthew 15:1-20

When soldiers return from their tours of service, their family reunion is sweet. It is a beautiful thing to behold. When missionaries return to their family in their land of origin, often there are tears of joy and the embraces are warm and extended. I have been there. Both of these are long anticipated, often they come with flowers and signs, and many times added supporters as an expression of love and gratitude. This reunion (Genesis 44) was a total shock to all the immediate family, except one. The initial response was not joy, but fear and horror. Unlike the send-off of soldiers and missionaries where the tears of love flow, Joseph's send-off was to glares of hatred. His own brothers sold him into slavery. The present encounter would have been entirely different had Joseph not been a man of God, a man who forgave completely, a man who still loved his family. Oh yes, he had his way, but the revelation was pure and beautiful...embraces, kisses, weeping. There is joy in the house of the Lord in moments such as this. To such moments, God has graciously allowed me to be witness. Oh how sweet! What a testimony of what forgiveness and grace can mean to family and friends, indeed, to the world.

Today, you may have a legitimate case against a brother or sister, or a brother or sister in the Lord. Learn the lesson of Joseph. See it foretell the lesson of Jesus from the cross: "Father, forgive them!" Understand, it takes grace to walk into such an embrace. Remember, the one who has been forgiven much can find it in their heart also to forgive. Watch the overflow of blessing when you take the first loving step toward the one who approaches you with guilt and shame.

P.S. And, if the one to whom you extend grace rejects your embrace, know this: your Father in heaven sees what you have done in love, will never forget it, and will bless you for it!
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash.

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