There it was again. God keeps gently yet persistently telling me the same thing... over and over and over. Forgiveness is powerful.
We are in Lancaster, PA for a family reunion. It's been wonderful (aside from a very sore back) and we have had a great time seeing (and even meeting!) family members from my husband's mom's side of the family. Part of what the reunion included was a showing of "Joseph" at the Sight and Sound Theater nearby. The story of Joseph from Genesis (in the Bible) is one of my favorites. Joseph, the favorite of Jacob's 12 sons, has a dream of what God has for him to be and do. He tells his brothers this dream (of them all bowing down to him... it doesn't go over well) and is sold into slavery by these brothers. He is taken to Egypt where, because of his trust in God and his steadfastness - AND because of God's faithfulness, he rises to the #2 position in all of Egypt. While there, a famine arises in the land. Joseph had been put in charge of saving grain for the famine that God told him would come. People come from other lands to buy food... including Joseph's brothers. Given the opportunity to punish his brothers when they come (they don't recognize him) Joseph instead forgives them. "You meant it for evil. God meant it for good". (Genesis 50:20). BAM! Got me again. The power of forgiveness. It's the only thing that frees us. Joseph chose to forgive his brothers instead of taking vengeance on them. He knew that God had given him a dream.... and all that happened (being sold into slavery, being put into prison falsely, etc) all helped to bring about God's plan... God's dream for Joseph and Joseph's dream for God.
Jim and I sat there crying watching the end of the story again. We watched as the brothers embraced and God's people were saved. We cried knowing that God has given us dreams too, and we will trust Him that He knows what He's doing. We will forgive because that is also part of God's plan. We will continue to believe in the dreams God has given us.
What dream did God give you?