Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Anger (01/24/05)
TITLE: The Seed of Destiny
By Henry Swart
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Isn’t it amazing how those closest to us usually give us the most cause for anger? We are hurt most by those family and friends dearest – and nearest – to us. In my case it was my family, and more specifically my brothers, who inflicted the pain and caused the anger that so almost hardened my heart completely. On the other hand I must admit that I probably gave them just as good reason to be angry at me. You see, our father, Jacob, loved me more than them, which of course was not my fault. I’m the son of his old age and he loved my mother Rachel more than their mother. My father’s favoritism was not my fault, but this fact did not spare me my brother’s wrath.
I was at fault, though, in the way I flaunted my fathers favor. I used to be cocky with my older brothers because I knew I could get away with it – I knew my father would always take my side and protect me. I would strut around in my colorful cloak, which to them symbolized my position as favorite and constantly reminded them that they were second-hand sons in their father’s house. I loved visiting them in the field, while they were tending the flocks, to remind them that they had to do hard labor and I did not. I rubbed my fathers love for me in their faces every chance I had, so when I finally told them about the dreams, I guess that was the last straw.
They threw me in a pit and, but for Reuben’s pleading, would have killed me. My own brothers! At first I was too afraid to be angry, but on the long journey through the desert – with the slave traders they’d sold me to – my feelings had ample time to fester and produce anger and hatred. I was infuriated by the injustice of it all.
As a slave in Egypt, with my father’s protective hand no longer there to cover me, I was once again mistreated and, thrown in prison for a crime I had not committed. More injustice, which led to more anger.
Even the few friends I made in prison forgot me soon after their release, leading to more anger still.
I guess God knew the state of my heart, maybe that’s why He allowed me to stay in prison so long. It’s not true that time heals, but God does – He healed my heart and removed that anger towards my brothers, my previous master, and my friends. But my anger against injustice remained. I think God allowed it to remain because He feels that same anger against injustice. That anger at injustice turned out to be the seed to my destiny – the proverbial grain of sand that becomes a pearl.
Now that the hatred and desire for vengeance are gone, and only a righteous anger against injustice remains, God has set me up as second in command over Egypt, to dispense justice in a time of need. I have forgiven my brothers, and if I ever see them again I will tell them this: ‘What you have intended for evil, God has turned around for good in my life.’
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