- Renée Coventry
Learning to Let Go of the Past, So You Can Move Forward, Prophetic Destinies, Pt. 21
Pharaoh's prophetic dream has come to pass. For seven years, Joseph worked diligently to save grain, and now the famine has come, and not just to Egypt. Canaan is also feeling the effects, and as it so happens, Jacob hears there is grain down south. Wouldn't it be a good idea to send the boys to purchase food for the family? All of them except Benjamin that is. With the loss of Joseph, Jacob has been extra careful with Benjamin, not willing to risk him. Jacob feels he's lost enough, but if he can hold on to what he has left in Benjamin, maybe he can make it through. No, let the other boys go. Benjamin he can't part with, not even in a time of famine.
Is there anything or anyone like that in your life? Do you feel beaten down by life's challenges and cling so hard to what you have left, you just can't let go? Maybe you refuse to let it go, all the while fear is growing in your heart at the mere idea of another potential loss, and the bitterness that took root years ago over something traumatic has such a firm grasp on you that you find it difficult to breathe. It's a dangerous place to be, and for Benjamin, who is now a grown man with children of his own, it must have been suffocating being the child dad just couldn't let go and always seemingly left behind to calm dad's fears.
So ten men arrive in Egypt and bow before Joseph, Governor of Egypt and keeper of the grain, humbly asking for food for the family, substantial in size now, exceeding seventy people. They don't recognize the little brother they abandoned and enslaved, but he certainly recognizes them. You see, it doesn't matter how much time has passed, how much water has flowed beneath the bridge when you've been hurt and reencounter the perpetrators. Even if God has blessed you, it's like an arrow through the heart. Seeing them again must have taken him by surprise. Fortunately, not only does Joseph have the power of a great leader, he has developed a godly character to wield that authority well. Rather than lashing out, Joseph tests them.
He's not mean; he's just protecting himself. Maybe God has been working a heart change in his brothers the past two decades. Joseph's willing to wait but not willing to reveal himself just yet. Why would he expose his own young family to others that would selfishly sell them out as they had previously done to him? Joseph has more than just his own heart to consider, and while he's doing so, he makes his brothers sit in prison for three days. They talk freely, and Joseph considers the best way to test their hearts, deciding to use Benjamin as the bait. One brother, Simeon, would stay behind while the others returned to Jacob, sacks filled with food, not to mention their money, with a direct order to return with little brother, Benjamin.
However, the return of the boys now minus one does not encourage Jacob's heart. Instead, his fear increases, and he refuses to release the one he's holding onto for the sake of another. Meanwhile, God is patiently waiting for Jacob to get on board with His plans so that, in His goodness, He can bring restoration and healing to the family, and if Jacob doesn't immediately give in, he will eventually. Food is meant to be consumed. Once it's depleted, Jacob is forced into a position where he will watch his family starve or finally let go in faith to see them saved.
That's often the case with us, as well. When we've held onto something or someone for so long, it takes extreme circumstances for us to let it/them go and trust the Lord. It has been my experience that God is not interested in prying out of our hands that which we hold so tightly. No, God waits patiently for us to relinquish it, and He will make use of life's circumstances to encourage our hearts to do so. It has also been my experience that whenever I release something God has asked of me, He has something waiting in the wings.
You see, sometimes letting go enables God to place something even more beautiful in our hands. Jacob had spent his life in deception, had it returned in covenant with God, and then the very child Jacob loved most was ripped from him, causing him to go into mourning. In his distress, he developed an unhealthy attachment to another out of fear, refusing to trust God, while the entire time, God just wanted Jacob to let go so that He could restore what the enemy had taken.
Dear one, if you can relate to this part of Jacob's story, I'm so sorry for the trauma and disappointment you have experienced in your life. It's time to let go of the pain, stop holding onto the unhealthy attachments, and open your hand to the Lord. He'll take it. He won't abandon you. Just as He promised to be with Jacob, He will be with you. Not only that, He is a God of restoration. His plans for you did not cease at the point of trauma. No, just as He has walked beside you in pain, He wants to deliver you out of it and restore what the enemy robbed from you. You were not meant to camp in the desert. You were meant to step into the Promised Land.
Father, I admit that I have held onto people and things too closely in my fear and grief. It hasn't been healthy for me spiritually or physically. Lord, I want to trust You. Please, Holy Spirit, help me let go of all that I have so fervently clung to as support. Forgive me for holding onto others and things instead of onto You. Thank You for being so patient with me. I choose to move forward into what You have for me, knowing that You always have my best interests at heart. Thank You that You are working to restore what the enemy has stolen in my life. Thank You that I am becoming Your fearless child, as bold as a lion, ready to walk, no, run, into all You have for me. In Jesus' Name.