Back to the Beginning: Genesis 42:16-38

Today’s passage continues Joseph’s reunion with his brothers: Genesis 42:16-38.
Read it in your Bible or click the reference to read on BibleGateway.com.

Joseph gave the test and listened to his brothers work it out in their own language. They didn’t know he understood their words and something inside Joseph was stirred. So stirred he left their company to weep.

Grief can slip up on you without much warning. We often think about grief associated with death, but there are many other times we experience the sorrows of grief in our lives. Maybe it’s divorce or the bad choices of a wayward child. It could be letting go of something you’ve held on to way too long, or the beginning of a new  season in your life. When change happens… grief happens.

Joseph was experiencing lots of grief in this moment. Sadness over his desperate cries for life and the hard-hearted treatment his brothers gave him. Sorrow over what might have been and the lost years with his family. I can imagine there was anger to let go of and a bit of joy in the process. For the moment it was too much, and all Joseph could do was weep.

We would do well to heed the lesson Joseph’s actions teach in this moment. There are moments when we must allow grief to do its work in us. It might seem easier to stuff the emotion down or ignore it all together, but the result is a lot of unfinished business. Grief in the presence of God allows us to process our emotions and let them go.

Have you been prone to suck up emotions and pretend all is well even when it is not? Are you stuck in some aspect of grieving you can’t seem to move past?

Turn it over to God. Express your feelings honestly, and trust him to show you the way through.

Lord, You know grief as well as anyone. Grief over rebellious creatures.
Grief over the treatment of Your Son. Grief over those who refuse to return.
Yet You are a faithful God of hope, joy, and love. Teach me to deal
with my grief. Let it move me toward faithfulness,
hope, joy, and love.
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