01/16/16 Weeping for a Long Time

READING: Genesis 46-47

Maybe you’ve never seen the picture of a reunion and reconciliation before. I’ve been around long enough to see several different types of each:

  • the gathering of loved ones at an airport, awaiting the return of a military mom or dad from war
  • grown men weeping as they repented of their sins against each other and restored their friendship
  • entire churches tearing up as they watched a wayward son come home to his family and to God
  • mom and dads rejoicing as their missionary children arrived for a furlough
  • Christian brothers and sisters lovingly embracing another believer upon his or her confession of hidden sin
  • two Christians who had been separated simply by the circumstances of life reconnecting and taking up their friendship exactly where they had left off previously. 

Even with all of these images in my mind, I cannot fully fathom what Jacob and Joseph experienced when they met after at least two decades has passed. Jacob was at one point convinced that his beloved son was dead, and now the emotional moment arrived as they stood face-to-face: “Joseph hitched the horses to his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel. Joseph presented himself to him, threw his arms around him, and wept for a long time. Then Israel said to Joseph, ‘At last I can die, now that I have seen your face and know you are still alive!’” (Gen. 46:30). 

Joseph could only weep for a long time, and Jacob (Israel) was so overwhelmed by the joy of seeing his son alive that he was ready to die. That’s joy on both sides — and that’s precisely what God does when He creates, builds, strengthens, reunites, and even restores relationships. 

The enemy always seeks to devour our relationships, but God remains the glue that holds us together. Even decades apart can be erased under His grace.  

ACTION STEPS: Consider these steps today:

  • If you’re distanced from a loved one (either by conflict or life circumstances), pray for that person.
  • If you’ve simply allowed life to separate you from folks you love, make an attempt today to start rebuilding those relationships. 
  • Tell your spouse and children how much you love them. You never know when that’ll be the last time you’ll get to tell them for a while. 

PRAYER: “God, I pray that You will help me to build strong relationships with others. Help me even to return to old friendships that have simply grown distant.”  

TOMORROW’S READING:  Genesis 48-50






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