[Jacob]l said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.” (Genesis 48:11)
When was the last time you received an unexpected blessing from God? In today’s passage, we catch a glimpse of a blessing that was as unexpected by Jacob as it was unimaginable.
If you remember the remarkable story of Joseph, the favored son of Jacob, you know that his brothers, seething with jealousy, sold Joseph into slavery and told their father Jacob that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal. In an act of shocking, depraved deception, the brothers actually presented Jacob with Joseph’s multicolored coat, which they had splattered with blood from a goat they had killed, as “proof” of Joseph’s death. Jacob was completely convinced that he would never see Joseph again on this side of the grave, and grieved the loss of his son. But many years later, Jacob did see Joseph again; not only that, but he also met his grandsons, whom he hadn’t even known existed!
Our God is in the business of blessing His children immeasurably more than all we ask or even imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Even in seasons of terrible loss, God is working all things for our gain, even when we cannot see that gain at present. God never stops working on behalf of His children, even when it looks like He has.
I must be careful to point out that Jacob’s story does not represent a universal promise that when we suffer loss we should expect to receive back what we have lost. But what this story does teach us — along with many other stories throughout sacred Scripture — is to expect the unexpected.
God is always working for our good, but often what you and I think is “good” and the good God actually gives us is as far as the east is from the west. But we must keep in mind that when we do not receive the outcome we were hoping for, it is only because God has a better ending in store for us. We have a tendency to draw conclusions about what the end of the story should be when we are in the middle of it. But if we will trust God and allow Him to continue writing our story as we go through life — instead trying to snatch the pen out of His hand — we can entrust our heartache into His tender, loving, nail-scarred hands.
Where does this message find you today? Are you riding the crest of a wave of victory? Or are you being pulled under by the remorseless undertow of challenge? Regardless of your current circumstances, you can be certain that God loves you with an eternal love and wants to bless you in ways you simply cannot imagine.
Take this truth with you into the rest of your life. And as you look to Jesus to meet you in your place of deepest need, Christian, expect the unexpected. You can be sure that God’s unexpected will be infinitely and eternally better than anything we might expect.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!