“Then Joseph hurried out, for his compassion grew warm for his brother, and he sought a place to weep. And he entered his chamber and wept there.” Genesis 43:30
How many of us are living estranged from someone we used to be closed to? Perhaps we were wronged. It is possible that the betrayal done by a certain person can seem to be utterly unforgivable, that the only just response seems to be vengeance. It seems in Genesis that Joseph’s initial intention was revenge when he saw his brothers bowing before him. They sold him into slavery. Because of his brothers, he became both a slave and eventually a prisoner in Egypt. They utterly betrayed family trust. And now they were in his power. He could do with them whatever he desired, and be justified in his vengeance. But in the midst of his plans, God grew his compassion for them, and it was that compassion that broke the wall of bitterness towards his brothers. He had to leave the room to weep he was so overwhelmed. There will never come a day when the people around us, whom we love, cease betraying our trust and letting us down. Nor will we ever stop harming others. Our flesh is in the chaos of evil and though the soul may be redeemed, the flesh is still at war. However, we can pray for compassion, just like Joseph had compassion on his brothers, and begin to break through the wall of our own bitterness and pain. Will there be tears? Probably. Will there be wavering? Almost certainly. But the compassion of God moving in us is powerful enough to forgive any wrongs and reconcile all gaps developed by the sin we inflict upon each other.
Lord Jesus, give us compassion and a path away from bitterness. Help us to forgive the hurts that we have endured and see your glory in reconciliation!