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Devotion - August 11, 2020

Genesis 45: 4-15

4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.[a]

8 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. 9 Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. 10 You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me—you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. 11 I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.’

12 “You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that it is really I who am speaking to you. 13 Tell my father about all the honor accorded me in Egypt and about everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly.”

14 Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.

Devotion by Laurie Spencer

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." Joseph understands that the strange and violent experiences he had led him to a place of strong faith and strength.

What life experience happened to you which redirected your vision for your life? My biggy was an unexpected divorce IN 1999. This was the event I honestly didn’t think I would survive. I could hardly pick myself up off the floor for a year. I converted from Unitarian to Catholic because there wasn’t another church that was open 24-7 and I needed a kind of total spiritual support I had never needed before. I cried through mass every day for a year. I sat in the adoration chapel in the middle of the night wrapped in grief, for losing what I thought was essential.

But God, she had a plan for me just as there was one for Joseph. Neither of us expected our lives to be so violently diverted. Looking back, and so far away from the pain of that time, I can smile and say the experience was like getting on board Mr.Toad’s Wild Ride. The Church taught me to have faith that the good Lord was the driver and I needed to have faith the track was running in the right direction; even though I was terrified.

End of this story: Two years after my husband left, I could breathe again. I joined the choir at the Cathedral of Christ the King. For the next ten years, instead of crying through every mass, I was singing through every mass. God had redesigned my life, healed my wounds, made me whole and far, far stronger.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." This is a shared experience we all have just as Joseph did. We each have an opportunity to suffer and be reborn as stronger, faith-filled children of God.

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