Sometimes It Isn’t Only About US

When we go through trials in our lives, especially the big ones, it is so easy to focus on ourselves and our loved ones who are affected by our trials or who may be going through them with us. We are often so overcome by our own pain and our own grief, that we fail to even try to see the big picture. We forget that we are but small parts of a great big world. Yes, we are hurting. Yes, bad things are happening that directly affect us. But what we often fail to realize is that maybe the reason for our trials, the “why” behind it all, may actually have very little to do with us personally.
Look at the life, the example of Joseph. Joseph was beloved of his father and was kept from the hard work of the fields. He was kept close to home and taught to read and write, a luxury that was afforded very few young men of his stature back then. He had ten brothers who were not given this opportunity. Instead, they were taught to tend the sheep and the fields, to do they manual labor that kept the family going. They were very jealous of Joseph and wanted rid of him. First, they threw him into a pit and left him to die. Then, they noticed some slave traders who were passing by. This made them re-think leaving Joseph in the pit. It gave them a better idea. They sold him to the slave traders and told their father that he had been killed by an animal.
I’m sure that Joseph felt the pain of abandonment and betrayal. He must have missed the parents that had loved him so very much. I know that he must have been afraid and unsure of his future. He probably felt angry that his brothers would do such a thing to him and confused that God would let them.
Do any of these emotions sound familiar?
Joseph’s story doesn’t end there. He was taken to the slave market in Egypt and purchased for the house of Potiphar, the captain of the Egyptian Guard. God Blessed Joseph there and soon he was put in charge of Potiphar’s entire house. He was doing pretty well, even though he was still serving as a slave. Unfortunately, his trials were far from over.
Potiphar’s wife took an interest in Joseph and tried several times to entice him to commit adultery. When he refused and ran away, she became angry and cried rape. Joseph was promptly thrown in prison. It is unclear the length of time that he spent in prison, but the impression is that it was not a short stay.
I imagine that, once again, the feelings of abandonment, fear, anger and betrayal surfaced in Joseph. I know he must have asked the same question we all ask when times of severe trial come our way, “Why? Why is this happening to me? Why do I continue to face trials that seems so unfair? Why do I suffer for offenses that I did not commit? Why, God? Why do you allow these things to happen to me and those that I love? Why do you allow me and my loved ones to suffer when we have done no wrong?”
How many times have we felt those feelings and asked those very same questions? I know that I have, many, many times.
But then, as the story continues, we see God appear. We begin to see His plans unfold. Joseph was given the gift of interpreting dreams. He was given this gift by God to use for His purposes.
Pharaoh, King of Egypt was troubled by recurring dreams that no one had been able to explain to him. That’s when Joseph was remembered. He was brought from prison to visit Pharaoh. Joseph was able to explain his dreams to him and he gave all the glory to God. As it turned out, Pharaoh’s dreams were prophetic. God not only gave Joseph the interpretation of the dreams. He also gave him the wisdom to tell Pharaoh what must be done to save his kingdom from the famine that the dreams foretold. Joseph became the right hand of Pharaoh. The only person in the kingdom who outranked him was the king himself. Because of the gifts and the help of God, Joseph was able to save the lives of an entire kingdom.
Do you realize that, had Joseph not been sold by his brothers, bought by Potiphar and then thrown in prison (where his gift of interpreting dreams was discovered by the other prisoners, who eventually told Pharaoh), the whole kingdom of Egypt (and by extension, Joseph’s family) would have perished in a famine?
As it turned out, Joseph’s trials had absolutely nothing to do with him personally. It was all about God using him to save lives and to let the pagan Egyptians know that there is but one God, the God that Joseph trusted in and relied on, even through his undeserved trials. People were converted. Souls were saved. Lives were saved… through the undeserved and very, VERY hard trials of one man.
So why are you suffering? Why am I suffering? Maybe it’s nothing personal. Maybe the all powerful, all knowing God and creator of the world and all things in it has bigger plans. Maybe He is allowing us to suffer to accomplish a greater purpose. Maybe it’s nothing personal.
We have to trust that our LORD knows exactly what He is doing. After all, He sees the bigger picture. We are holding one tiny piece of a very big puzzle. He sees exactly where it fits and how it completes the whole. We only see one piece. He is looking at the box top.
As we face our trials, even the biggest, hardest, most painful and life changing ones, let’s try to remember that this life, our lives, are not all about us. There’s a whole world full of people out there who need to see His Glory. Let’s let Him use us to reveal it to them, even when it hurts. In the end, we will be blessed and He will be glorified. That’s His promise.


About Shirley Ann Washam

I am an extremely blessed, divorced mother of four AMAZING children. Above that, I am a child of God! I pray that He would use this blog to speak through me to those who are hurting and discouraged. My goal is to share whatever is given by our LORD to uplift and encourage those who, like me, are blessed beyond measure, but still sometimes find themselves struggling to find answers and need a little encouragement. If you are in need of encouragement, I pray that you find it here, in the words that He speaks through me.
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2 Responses to Sometimes It Isn’t Only About US

  1. petite says:

    Thank you for any other informative web site. Where
    else may just I get that kind of info written in such a
    perfect approach? I’ve a challenge that I am simply now working on, and I’ve been at the look out for such info.

    • Dear ‘Petite’,
      I appreciate your comment and I’m really happy that you found this blog post helpful. I have to be honest, the one and only 100% reliably perfect source of information, advice, encouragement, direction, hope, and just all around help is the Bible… the infallable Word of God. While we don’t always find every single issue we could ever face 100% directly addressed in black and white and in the exact words we may be looking for, there is NOTHING we can ever go through that isn’t addressed in the Bible. The Word of God is living and active and can be applied to anything and everything in any and every part of our lives. After all, it’s not only a love letter from our Heavenly Father, it’s actually that instruction manual for life that most people believe that we weren’t provided with!! Our creator wouldn’t just leave us here with no help, no advice, no instruction, and no leadership. How cruel would that be of Him?! He loves us WAY more than that!
      If there is something in life that you feel that you are struggling with, talk to Him about it and ask Him to show you and then give you a working understanding of some places in His Word that can help you with those rough spots in your life. We ALL have those challenging areas that feel as if they will never be resolved, so be careful that you don’t allow those areas in your own life worry you so much that they become a bigger deal than they need to be and make you feel like a failure. Life is a process. We are all learning and growing, and that very often involves quite a lot of trial and error! 🙂
      While I don’t know everything about everything or have all the right answers, if the challenge that you’re facing is one that you would feel comfortable sharing, I’d be happy to share any scripures and insights that have been helpful to me in the challenges I have faced in my own life. Otherwise, I will definitely be keeping you covered in prayer.
      In Christ,

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