'This is what you are to say to Joseph:I ask you to forgive your brothers the sinsand the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.'Now please forgive the sins of the servantsof the God of your father."When their message came to him, Joseph wept.
My brother and sister and I have always been distant. We led different lifestyles. My sister lives states away. My brother is 10 years younger than I am. For various reasons as we got older we lost our connection, our comfortability around one another.
It's been a rough several years. We love one another so much but somehow couldn't figure out how to bond. We'd see each other at holidays, give hugs and kisses but after the simple greetings of, "How are you doing?" and, "What have you been up to?" We sort of didn't know how to proceed.
I could always look at them and see pain. I'm not sure what they seen when they looked at me. I always prayed for them and I'm sure if they prayed they prayed for me also. It was hard on all of us.
For me, I didn't notice the 'hole'. I guess I filled that place with my family and I felt that my prayers for them were enough. I prayed for so long part of me really didn't have the faith that my prayers would be answered. I've tried to figure out a time period, the closest I can get is over 10 years.
The odd thing here is that this year when I fell flat on my face away from my Father, they were so angry with me, so let down, so disappointed. I didn't quite understand it. I had been praying for them for so long, so many long years and I seen them hurt so badly. I had cried out to my Father to stop their pain and hear their cries and answer their prayers. Somehow when I fell I think I thought they would be happy. Glad to have me living a similar life, we'd have more in common, maybe I wouldn't make them so uncomfortable, finally-maybe we could be family.
But, that didn't happen.
They were so bothered by my fall that it put it even more space between us. My heart was broken. I felt as though I were dangling alone, as though I had lost everyone, and was accepted by no-one.
This was when the Holy Spirit wooed them in. He wooed my brother and He wooed my sister. The Lord answered my prayer, after all this time. Then He did the same for me. He brought us all to repentance. The Father refused to let us go, to turn us over to ourselves.
We all had a lot of forgiving to do, and are still a work in progress, but tonight as I read that scripture above and I remembered what Joseph had been through, I knew my walk was a piece of cake compared to his. He was told to forgive and so should I. Not only forgiving others but forgiving myself, which to me, is the hardest part.
So today, I am thankful for my brother and sister, I am thankful for forgiveness-that they forgave me and I forgave them and the Father forgave us all, and I am thankful for unity. It is so wonderful to be a family that is growing and getting to know one another all over again.
This is but the beginning. If you think of us please continue to lift us up in prayer.
Have a very blessed Thankful Thursday.
For more Thankful Thursdays visit Lynn at "Spiritually Unequal Marriage."