He sees that they’re depressed. He notices. And he cares.
Joseph has every reason to be so consumed by his own fear and sadness, that the fear and sadness of others is irrelevant. Or maybe even comforting. Misery loves company. Right? In today’s reality-TV culture, it’s often the pain of others that makes us feel better about our own mess. “I might …., but at least it’s not as bad as….”
Appalling when seen in black and white, right? But if we’re honest, it happens.
If Joseph’s situation proves anything, it’s that every single sad, depressing, uncomfortable, undeserving thing that happens can be used by God to grow us up and set our feet on the path to his perfect destination. Sometimes the bad stuff is brought on by our own poor choices. Sometimes its brought on by the poor choices of others, with no wrongdoing of our own. Either way, God will use it….if we let him.
Joseph gets this. He isn’t happy to be in Egypt. He certainly isn’t happy to be in prison for something he didn’t do. But he’s not wallowing. He’s putting one foot in front of the other and taking care of his daily responsibilities with dignity. Most of all, his own circumstances aren’t obstructing his view to the needs of others. His heart is soft and his mind is open to how he might serve. What a thing to aspire to!
I don’t want to be a wallow-er. I don’t want bad circumstances to blind me to the needs of others. I never want to find an ounce of comfort in someone else’s pain. Help me, Jesus. Give me the heart of Joseph; walking through my days with dignity, looking for ways to serve…to be a blessing to others. Help me to notice the pain of others and to show them that I care…even when I might not feel like it.