What if?

“What if” are two words I battle to get out of my mind. “What if” something bad happens to one of my kids? “What if” things never get better in this relationship? “What if” my husband loses his job? I wonder if Joseph’s brothers struggled with their own “what if” questions when Joseph invites them to dine at his house on their second trip to Egypt. Can you imagine their fear escalating as they wait for him in his home? Perhaps they thought, What if he won’t give us food? What if he kills us all? After all, this ruler had been harsh to them last time, even accusing them …

The Roller Coaster Ride

Have you ever forgiven someone but not been able to reconcile with them? Forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same thing. We are always called to forgive others through the power of God working in our lives. To forgive, we acknowledge the hurt and strong emotions that accompany the pain and then ask God to help us freely let go of the offense. The Hebrew word for forgive is nasa, which means “to lift up.” When we forgive, we lift up the pain to God and require no penance or payment from our offender. Forgiveness takes only one person and happens on the inside of a person. Reconciliation, on the other …

Roses and Alligators

Have you ever encountered an “unsafe” person? Dee Brestin describes them as alligators in her book The Friendships of Women. They can inflict wounds that go beyond surface scratches, leaving scars from their bites. She explains, “Alligators demonstrate a pattern of destruction. Every rose has a few thorns, but an alligator is covered with them.” When Joseph’s brother travel to Egypt to buy grain, he recognizes them immediately. However, they see only an Egyptian offical as his style of hair and dress as well as the years apart camoflauge him from them. Now they have reappeared in his life, but Joseph doesn’t immediately reveal himself. He first needs to determine their …