Providence Grows From Hardships
I always believed that everything happens for a reason. It’s never clear right away and sometimes, the worst things in our lives will never have an explanation that we can understand for as long as we live. Still, most of the things that we’ve experienced in our lives can either be used for the better or as an excuse. It all depends on our perspective.
Take the story of Joseph, for example. As a young man, he was Jacob’s favorite child. In Joseph: King of Dreams, the young Joseph was starting to develop a huge ego because of his parents’ favoritism and the foretelling dreams he was having. It made his brothers so jealous that they ended up selling him as a slave to Ishmaelites.
Joseph makes a new life for himself as Potiphar’s slave and for a time, he prospers. However, Potiphar’s wife attempts to seduce him and then frames him for attempting to rape her, sending him to prison, where he stayed for at least two years. But even in prison, God was with Joseph, putting him in a position of power, even in imprisonment. Then, two years after interpreting the dreams of two prisoners, Joseph got the opportunity to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams and was granted the position of governor soon after.
But then, as Joseph was helping the people of Egypt during the seven years of famine, his brothers come in, all the way from Canaan, seeking food because the famine spread far and wide. Although Joseph initially acted hostile towards his brothers by testing them, he finally forgave them after seeing that they learned from their mistakes. All at once, Joseph realizes that God allowed all those bad things he suffered for a reason. After Joseph and his brothers reconciled, the entire family was brought to Egypt, reunited once again.
Forgiveness can bring together what pain and anger have torn apart. Joseph could’ve held a grudge against his brothers forever or refused to give them any food. Instead, once the brothers showed their collective regret, Joseph felt compelled to show them compassion.
If you want a more recent example, listen to the story behind the song “Forgiveness” by Matthew West. I understand that this may not happen with you and whomever has hurt you in the past or whomever is hurting you now. Part of the emotional healing process is acknowledging the ways that the hurt in your life actually changed things for the better. It might be hard to see now, but think about it this way: you’re still alive. You were able to live on past whatever pain and suffering you had. Even if you’re still in pain, you can offer that pain to God and use it to help someone.
As Laura Story said, sometimes our blessings come through raindrops and healing comes through tears. What if the trials in our lives are really God’s mercies in disguise? Take some time to contemplate that, sisters in Christ. May Divine Mercy be with you and help you heal the wounds in your heart.
1.When did something good emerge out of something bad in your life?
2.Do you think all hardships will lead to healing? Why or why not?
3.Action: Offer up the pain that you have right now and the pain that lingers from the past. Ask God to help you create something good from all of it.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.