I have just landed in Vancouver, waiting for my connecting flight to Edmonton. Some thoughts came rushing through my mind.
A friend once asked me, ‘would not it be nice if I get the job in Canada while I was still in the US so I will not have to go around the world and going through so much troubles moving across the continents?’
Jerry Sittser in ‘A Grace Revealed’ describes Joseph’s story really well and it answered the question above for me.
‘If Joseph had been released when he had hoped and expected to be, the story would have turned out well for him, to be sure, but only for him. In all likelihood, Joseph would have never seen his brothers and father again, never assumed a high position of responsibility in the court, never rescued an entire nation from starvation. Such would have been the result — the price, really — of a premature ending to the story.
We might be in the middle of that story, uncertain of what looms ahead; but God rules over the whole thing, which is all that matters. For God is the author of the redemptive story; we know who this God is, too, because he entered the story as a character and turned the plot in a startlingly new direction. Jesus Christ came to redeem the world — to reclaim, renew, and restore it until all is complete, whole, and perfect. Such is the plot of the redemptive story as told in the Bible.’
I m not comparing my struggles with Joseph’s sufferings. Mine is nothing compared to his. But with regards to the question, if I were to get the job while I am still in the US and did not come back to Melbourne and had the last few months off…Well, I guess it is still a beautiful story and definitely good for my career. God was kind to give me a job right away. But like Jerry puts it, I think it was going to be a ‘premature ending to the story’.
I probably would not learn more about God and walk closer with Him. I probably would not be able to be transformed the last few months. It was without a doubt more challenging, emotional and painful going through the roundabouts…but the result I feel and think is far sweeter than the direct route.
I am still in the middle of the story – we all are. Have faith and trust in the Lord that as long as He is the author, we can be sure that it will be the most beautiful story, far more than we can imagine.
I hope this can be a blessing or an encouragement in the midst of your struggles.
– Jerry Sittser | A Grace Revealed | 2012
Photo of Badwater Basin | Death Valley National Park | USA | 2017