The story of Joseph’s life—his journey from the pit to the pinnacle—leaves us in awe. Few have known such highs and lows, and fewer still have lived a life so full of grace and forgiveness. If we choose to follow Joseph’s example, our lives can be marked by such noble traits, creating a spiritual legacy for those who come after us. What greater memory could we leave to those who love us than that of a life well lived—full of grace and truth?
Living harmoniously as a family is an ongoing, intentional journey. The beginning of that journey is marked by great anticipation and genuine excitement. A bride and groom have high hopes and great dreams as they start out life together. However, as in all journeys, unexpected challenges pop up, including the arrival of children, which requires the couple to cultivate valuable parenting skills—without a handbook! At each age, from preschool through elementary school, each child requires his or her parents to make adjustments along the way to keep the relationships harmonious. Just about the time parents get their arms around all of that, the teenage years arrive! This stretching and complicated time calls for even more adjustments and a greater willingness to change if the parents hope to sustain harmony in the home. Then, after all that adapting, a new set of challenges arrives—the children reach adulthood, with minds of their own. Can there still be mutual respect and meaningful relationships in the family? Can harmony continue between parents and their grown-up kids? Absolutely! The question is, how?
The story of Joseph provides a moving example not just of reconciliation but of long-awaited reunion. Studying the reunion of Joseph and Jacob reminds us of that joyful day when we will be united with our heavenly Father. As we wait for the reunion of the family of God, how do we prepare? This lesson explores how we should live today in light of eternity.
Joseph was one of the greatest men of the Bible. Joseph’s attitude set him apart. Joseph displayed greatness not because of some miraculous actions, but because he demonstrated a daily positive attitude toward God and others. And his example stands as a challenge for us today.
Though seasoned in walking with God, Jacob remained a victim of his own carnal clumsiness. Instead of seeing the Lord’s hand of protection on his sons’ lives, he became paralyzed by fear, worry, and resentment. Jacob relied on himself rather than on God’s strength. And his reluctance to trust God almost led to disaster. Sometimes we tend to be just like Jacob—expecting the worst rather than trusting God’s best.
The biography of Joseph is nothing short of remarkable, occupying as much or more space in Genesis than the biographies of Adam, Noah, Abraham, or even his father, Jacob. Joseph emerges from the pages of Scripture as a man with whom most of us can identify. Over his long life, Joseph responded to broken dreams and impossible circumstances with a faith that propelled him from the pit of slavery to the pinnacle of power.
Though second-generation fallout is both ancient and common today…it can be minimized and we parents will have grown spiritually through that process. New and healthy habits can be formed.
Every day we parents leave footprints for our family to follow. But parenting is not a game—a future generation of faith rests on us. There’s no doubt we are leaving tracks and our kids follow in our footsteps…at least for a while.
Here we are in our early fifties and, I kid you not, we’re expecting.
Sometimes balancing these two extremes between faith and fear causes us as Christians some apprehension as we walk the tightrope of life. However, if God requires you to fall off the wire, fall on the side of faith.