When it comes to traveling, some people prefer the scenic route. Some people enjoy taking in the picturesque landscape, particularly during this time of the year when the changing leaves add a warm hue. Some people have no problem adding miles and minutes to their trips in an effort to stop and steep in the beauty of God’s creation.
I am not some people.
My objective is to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Maybe it’s because I usually have a van full of impatient children. Maybe it’s because I used to drive racecars. Either way, no scenic routes for this guy. I want to get from here to there as quickly as I can (sometimes quicker than is allowed, as my driving record would attest).
Unlike me, God doesn’t seem too concerned with speed—after all, to the eternal Creator of the universe “one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day” (2 Peter 3:8). God works on an entirely different timeline than we do and perhaps that is nowhere more obvious than in the story of Joseph and his brothers, which culminates in Genesis 44-45.
We were introduced to Joseph and his family in Genesis 37 and, from there, we’ve watched their story unfold slowly and, at times, painfully. Abandonment, deception, false accusations, false hope, despair—all these and more mark the story of Joseph and his family. The journey from Genesis 37 to Genesis 45 has been a long and twisted one, to be sure. But when all of it is sprawled out in front of Joseph, he can confidently say, “God sent me before you to preserve life” (45:5). As long and drawn out as it was, it was all God’s doing.
Take heart! You’re on a journey as well and, as much as you’d like to get from point A to point B as quickly and painlessly as possible, God is almost certainly taking you on a scenic detour through a multitude of moments and experiences that are shaping you in profound ways. As John Piper says, “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.” But in the end, you will find that all the extra mileage has been worth it. You’ll look out over the landscape of your life and be able to spot all the moments where God was with you and he was at work.