Have you ever had an “aha” moment? You know, a time when something suddenly made sense…something that had perhaps puzzled you until then?
This morning I read about Joseph’s “aha” moment and it brought tears to my eyes (Genesis 45:3-9). Imagine how he must have felt when he realized that God Himself had ordained his circumstances in order to fulfill His purposes!
About 20 years had passed since his brothers had thrown him into a pit and then sold him into slavery. Twenty years — that’s a long time to brood and plan revenge. Finally his chance comes to get even, but Joseph refuses to stoop so low. Recognizing God’s sovereignty frees him from any hint of bitterness. It allows him to embrace his brothers and rejoice at being reunited with them.
I had an “aha” moment a couple years ago when I looked back over difficult circumstances and suddenly saw God’s plan in action. When my husband and I were first married, we lived in Nepal where he worked as a civil engineer. We lived in a mud and rock hut with a thatch roof, no electricity, no running water, and no indoor plumbing. I struggled with isolation and loneliness, culture shock, and language learning. We had our first child while living there, and I had no older women to show me how to care for this new baby. When our second child was born with medical issues that required an immediate return to North America, I struggled with reverse culture shock.
Over the years, I often wondered why God asked us to go through what we did, only to bring us back to NA. And then came the “aha” moment.
Now we’re the directors of International Messengers Canada, and one of our roles is to provide member care for our missionaries. At the first IM conference we attended, I was sharing this testimony with our missionary women in Eastern Europe when these words came from my mouth: “And so, ladies, when you struggle with language learning, I know how you feel. When you struggle with loneliness, I understand. When you go back to your countries and struggle with reverse culture shock, I get it!” That’s when the light came on in my head. Aha!!
God had a plan. He was sovereign over every detail in our lives. He knew exactly what He was doing when He put us into that overseas situation and then took us back to NA. He was preparing us for a ministry that would begin more than 20 years later.
We don’t always get to see God’s plan — in some instances, we’ll have to wait until we reach heaven. But whether we experience an “aha” moment here on earth or beyond the pearly gates, we can rest in the knowledge that God has a plan and is in control. Let’s allow Him to be God — in that way, we can respond as Joseph did, free of bitterness and anger.