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And Israel said to Joseph, I never expected to see your face; and behold, God has let me see your offspring also. Gen 48:11 RSV

I cannot help but think of how the years without Joseph must have been for Israel (first called Jacob). Joseph was the son of his beloved Rachel, the woman he loved from first sight. Joseph brought Israel more joy than any of his other children, and at a very young age this favored son was taken. How Israel must have grieved! How he must have said like many who have lost a child, if I could only see him one more time.

The ending to the story is a happy one for Israel for something he never dreamed of happens. His son Joseph is restored to him, along with Joseph’s children. What an inconceivable blessing for an old man who thought his son was dead.

Over my lifetime, I’ve come to see how like God this is. When God hears the longings of our hearts and responds, it seems to me the blessings are always greater than imagined. In the harshest of trials, I have learned to be confident. The end will come in God’s timing and with the end will be more blessing than I could ever know to ask.

In the toughest trial of my life, there were moments when I wondered if it would ever be over. But as tough as it was, I never stopped loving God or believing in Him. That trial kept me seeking God in every possible way and place, and that alone added good things to my life. When the trial was finally over, I could look back and see the rich and abundant blessings poured out on this unworthy person. I saw the crooks and turns, the hills and valleys, that brought me to a deeper faith. All that I had gone through brought me to a surer confidence in God. Blessings of abundance were poured out. Not because I deserved them, but because it is how God is, how He loves His children and rewards us when we diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

When we reflect on life experiences and see how involved God is in our lives, how can we not see His faithfulness and His love? He will never desert us; His word gives us that promise over and over.

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You. (Psalm 9:10 NIV)

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39 ESV)