Joseph went through some great suffering. The picture of his life is filled with moments of darkness traced with golden linings. It's a story filled with favor, and betrayal. Fear and jealousy. It's filled with good times and bad times, rises and falls. Despair and hope. Pieces of his story can so easily wrap around our hearts like a blanket of familiarity. The rises and the falls, though not in the same fashions, are events we can all relate to. Even our kids.
Suffering looks different for everyone. Hardship holds every heart in a different way. Troubles face us all down in many different forms, yet, they lace all of our days. We, as parents, want to hope that our kids are shielded from the hardships, but we can quickly miss the stress of homework, words a friend said or actions done that caused hurt, a small rejection from a sibling or even just confusions of growing up. These are all little pieces of hardships and sufferings for them, that give us the opportunity to share the story of Jesus. A story mirrored by the story of Joseph. A great story of hardship, suffering, forgiveness and hope.
You see, God has a plan. He has a plan to take all that is intended for evil and use it for His good. He sent Joseph ahead of his brothers, although through some very hard times, so that he could save his family during the time of famine. Likewise, those who crucified Jesus intended it for evil, but God's plan was for the good of all people. Through Jesus' death on the cross, God saved a remnant of people.
God calls us, even our kids, to trust Him to fulfill His promises, because when hardships appear to thwart His mission, God is faithful to use even the hardship as part of His plan to bring glory to His son.
Read the story of Joseph with your kids this week and take the time to teach the connections of Joseph's story to the story of Jesus and remind them of the hope that comes in God's promises!
*Next week: An Angel Speaks to Mary & Joseph