Day 467: Good Gluttony

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Thrown into an empty well by his brothers to die.
Sold by the same brothers to slave traders.
Sold again as a servant in Egypt.
Blackmailed by his boss’s wife.
Ended up in prison.

Joseph.

I have become nigh-obsessed with the story of Joseph.

You can partially blame that on Beth Moore as well, too… just like Day 449: Blame It On Beth Moore. Cause I’ve just finished her study The Patriarchs on Wednesday nights at my church. And the other partially would be that I was assigned his story to master teach in our youth department on Sunday at church a while back (Day 349: Ohhhh, Hockey Puck).

And it’s just so interesting how the bible can come alive over and over again. I mean… it’s Joseph. You know, Joseph and his coat of many colors?!?! Any kid who went to church heard the story of Joseph. And it was a great story then too… but it’s just cool to me how as an adult, I get something entirely different out of the story. As a kid I remember thinking the moral was “Don’t be prideful or people will try to throw you in an empty well.” Cause then I just sorta checked out on the rest of the story where all the bad stuff happens to him.

And now I realized that the second half of his life IS the story.

Because after all of that horrible stuff happened to him, he was raised to the highest status in Egypt, he was able to set aside grain for the entire country that would then feed his family, and he was able to reconcile with his brothers. And it all boils down to what he says to his brothers after his father has died and they are afraid that he will get revenge on them since Jacob isn’t there anymore to see it. He tells them:

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. Genesis 50:20

As I struggled a bit this week (what with the granola bars and all on Day 466: Hungry Hungry Hippie), I had to fight not getting down on myself for being imperfect. And then I remembered this story again… and thought, wow. Gluttony was trying to harm me, but God intended it all for good.

There is a lot of proof (my relationship with Him has never been closer and my faith has grown exponentially), but my favorite is this:

God has used my gluttony, my being in the pit, my selling of myself over to the sins of gluttony and food-lust, my burden of being overweight and trapped in the prison of sugar-addiction… He has used all of that for the good.

For you.

To save your life.

Because as I have traveled this path I have realized HOW. MANY. OF. US. THERE. ARE.

So many of us struggle with this. So many of us feel defeated. unhealable. trapped. lost. forgotten. resigned.

And it’s not just overweight women either.

Skinny girls. LOTS of skinny girls live on diets of chocolate. I know. I know because I’ve met them in coffee shops where they’ve bawled their eyes out. I’ve chatted with them while dropping off my son. I’ve read their emails to me where they confess their hoarding spots.

Manly men.
Average weight people.
Children.
Moms.

It’s… everywhere.

And I’ve seen and heard how God is using this journey of mine… from gluttonous to glorious… to help people begin their own journey of healing and renewal and freedom.

God is using my struggles with the sin of gluttony… for good.

And that… that is good.

Day 349: Ohhhh, Hockey Puck

Okay.

Did you know that sometimes God messes with things… for our own good? Yeah. Seriously, He does.

I actually just taught on the story of Joseph yesterday in our high school youth department… and that ended up being the “point”… well, sorta. Essentially, if Joseph had not be hated by his brothers, then he would not have been sold into slavery, then he would not have been in Potiphar’s house, then he would not have been punked out by Potiphar’s wife and sent to prison, then he would not have run into Pharaoh’s drink holder, then he would not have interpreted the drink holder’s dream, then he would not have been recommended to Pharaoh to interpret his dream, then no one would have known about the seven years of feast followed by the seven years of famine, then he would have not saved food for all of Egypt for the seven years, then when the famine hit Egypt, and Canaan as well, Joseph’s family (the line of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, David, and eventually Jesus Christ) they would not have survived.

I’m sorry… allow me to repeat that. Had it not been for all of that junk that happened to Joseph… then the ancestors of Jesus Christ would not have survived.

As Joseph says to his brothers at the end of Genesis 50, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”

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I’m sure we could get into a theological discussion about if God caused all of those things to happen or if it was the devil and God used those things for good, but that’s for another day.

What I am saying here though is that sometimes I think that God does intend things that seem “wrong” or “bad” for good. Like, for example, burning to a hockey puck crisp four biscuits that I was baking… purely for gluttony’s sake.

What can I say? “Oh I’ll remember to check them in ten minutes” turned into “Oh crap… those biscuits have been in there for thirty minutes!”

And I just smiled (well, after I sprinted across the house to extract them), and remembered this story of Joseph. And I remembered his perspective. And I remembered that God sometimes intends things that seem bad for good. And I tossed them. And I said a thank you to God… for my hockey puck biscuits.

And now, a few days later, as I finish this post that was halfway-completed, I thank God for the fact that I have plateaued… no, that I have gained a little bit of weight. Because it has been good. It has been good to make me see that He and I are not finished. that He and I are not almost “done” with this covenant. that He and I are only just now on the road to Egypt (if you will) and there is still more struggle and triumph to come. You see, “I” intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.

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