21 Days of Prayer January 22, 2019

Day Sixteen

So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing— and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it.  As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt. Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed. So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.  Genesis 37:23-28

The great theologian, Forrest Gump says, “Sometimes there just aren’t enough rocks.” Forrest’s lifelong friend Jenny had grown up in a home where she was abused by her father. He had left his mark on Jenny in a horrible way, profoundly affecting her life choices. And now, years later, seeing that house—the house where she grew up—that house from which she ran to an even more destructive way of life—seeing that house brought back painful memories.  The hurt just hadn’t gone away. The wounds had never fully healed. Forrest comments “Sometimes there just aren’t enough rocks.”

Let me ask you something this morning, “Have you run out of rocks?” Rocks are what we hurl at objects or individuals who remind us of our pain. They are words or actions that we employ to strike back at almost anyone or anything. We won’t hurt so bad as long as we have rocks to throw. Friedrich Nietzche states, “Revenge is the greatest instinct in the human race.”

There is a man in the Bible whose family deeply wounded him. His name is Joseph. His father was married to 2 sisters at the same time and kept 2 mistresses. He had 13 children through these 4 women, all of whom lived in the same household with him. 12 of those children were boys. Joseph’s only sister had been raped. His brothers were guilty of murder, theft, and gross immorality. Before he was 10 yrs.old his mother died. Joseph was the favorite son of his father’s favorite wife. His father made him a robe fit for a prince. A robe that showed that he was exempt from manual labor. His brothers hated him. They were consumed with jealousy. The brothers stripped him of his robe and threw him into a deep hole and he was sold intoslavery in Egypt. The brothers told their father that he had been killed by a wild animal.

The trouble is that the deep hurts and wounds of our lives can’t be fully healed by throwing rocks. Sooner or later we will run out—we’ll find out we’ve hurt others, ourselves and God. I walked around with a bucket filled with rocks for over 25 years of my life from my relationship with my alcoholic father. I finally had to ask God to forgive my anger and bitterness and He did, but He asked me to do something, drop the bucket of rocks. I did. God loves you more than you could ever love yourself. Pray for forgiveness this morning. Pray for God to give you the courage to drop the bucket of rocks, today. Pray for your family and friends to experience the forgiveness of Jesus this morning. I’m praying for you this morning to drop the rocks.