BIBLE READING: Genesis 43-45
The pain is indescribable. It doesn’t feel like the pain you may experience if you were physically hurt, in fact it is much worse. It drains you like a sickness, yet it isn’t like any virus you have ever contracted. It begins in your stomach, but over time swells to every cell of your body. Before you know it, your entire being is consumed with that painful, gnawing feeling that just won’t go away. As your mind attempts to dull the pain, you know the only way to relieve the hurt is to simply just let go. Guilt is a heavy burden that we have all had to bear. What may be the most difficult aspect of guilt is that every bit of it is self-inflicted. We often discuss all the pain and suffering that Joseph must have endured, but we must be careful not to overlook the guilt that the brothers had to have endured. As the nine brothers depart from Egypt, each step in the sand served as a reminder of how maybe all this trouble, from the famine, to imprisonment of Simeon, to heartache of their father, was their fault. Afterall, whether they realized it or not Joseph was at the center of it all. I wonder how often one of them might have wanted to come clean and confess what they had done, before the others may have squashed that possibility. After Joseph’s reveal (Genesis 45.1-3) it must have been very difficult for them to face their father and confess what they had done, but I also imagine there was some feelings of relief as well. The lies had stopped, the pain was gone, and the healing process had begun. You see, even though guilt is very painful, it can also be very useful; it all depends on how we handle it. If we allow our sin to go unconfessed, we face the pain and the heaviness of the guilt of what we have done. Yet, if we choose to act upon that guilt and seek forgiveness for what we done, then guilt has produced a positive outcome. So, the next time you feel those painful feelings of guilt begin to eat at you, confess your sin and allow God’s forgiveness to give you peace.