«Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little one’s.”
And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them»
Not only did Joseph forgive his brothers, but he also assured them that they would be provided for. That’s how God is! He forgives us even when we ignore or reject Him. Let us have that same attitude toward others. Joseph experienced how God turned the evil his brothers had done to him into a blessing Potiphar’s false accusation, the cupbearer’s forgetfulness, and the seven years of famine, all into a blessing. He had more than enough reasons to lose his faith, his hope, and his trust in God, but he waited for everything that seemed so dismal to be turned into a blessing one day. How patient are you during your times of trial? Do you trust that at some point God will turn the bad things you are experiencing today into something good? Just as God turned the evil in Joseph’s life into a means of carrying out His will, He can do the same for you. Any ill intention on the part of others can be used by God to complete His perfect work in you.
One of life’s principles and something that I learned from my mother has to do with vengeance. According to her, the most efficient way to take revenge is to return good to those who have treated us poorly. It was hard for my childish mind to grasp her attitude: “Wait until that person needs you; then you can get revenge by doing something good for them.” And yet, putting this into practice has helped me forgive those who have hurt me, even providing for someone who had denied me what was rightfully mine. Experience has shown me that this is the best antidote for depression. Imagining how things will play out ten years from now will give you a positive attitude in life; being good to those who have treated you badly will help you live in peace with God and with your fellow human beings.
This formula is not easy to follow, and we cannot do it on our own. We can only do so by God’s grace, by meditating on the Father’s forgiving attitude, and by following Jesus’s example, praying for his executioners: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do» (Luke 23:34). Only then can we have the necessary courage to even provide for those who have harmed us in the past.
Begin today to be a provider of forgiveness, striving to reach the same level as Joseph, comforting and speaking to the heart of those who have treated us wrongly. Begin today to be a blessing wherever you find evil.