This week, our focus is going to be on examples of Kintsugi from the Bible- stories where we see God at work transforming the brokenness into beauty.
To Joseph, it must have looked like a mess.
None of it had been his fault. He hadn’t asked his dad to make him the “favoured child,” he hadn’t deserved his brothers’ hatred. Maybe he’d been a little unwise in sharing his dreams with them- they were never going to respond well to the idea that they would bow before him- but it hardly merited being thrown down a well and narrowly escaping death, only to be sold as a slave.
His dreams of grandeur were replaced by the stark reality of life- miles from home, a humble servant in a rich man’s house- and just when things began looking up and he was given more responsibility, he found himself in jail- imprisoned for nothing other than resisting temptation and doing the right thing.
Even after helping his fellow prisoners by interpreting their dreams, his hopes of freedom were dashed, and in prison he stayed, disappointed and forgotten.
It must have looked like a mess to Jacob too. Having already dealt with the loss of his beloved wife Rachel, he had to face the devastating news that his son Joseph had been killed- attacked by a wild animal, or so he assumed. All that was left was a robe covered in blood.
It must have looked like a mess to Joseph’s brothers as they witnessed their father’s heartache while they knew the truth. Had they ever stopped to consider the impact their actions would have had on him? They must have lived with the guilt for years, knowing that what they had done could not be fixed. It was too much of a mess.
It must have looked like a mess to Pharaoh- strange dreams that seemed somehow significant, but no-one able to tell him what they meant.
Yes, it looked like a mess, but in the middle of the mess, God was working:
- Prompting the cupbearer Joseph had met in prison to finally remember the one who had such skill in interpreting dreams
- Giving Joseph the wisdom to understand so that he could explain to Pharaoh that his dreams predicted seven years of plenty followed by seven of famine
- Helping Pharaoh see that Joseph was the answer to this problem- one who could be trusted to be in charge of organising the grain
- Using the circumstances of the famine to bring Joseph and his brothers back together
- Working change in the brothers’ hearts and forgiveness in Joseph’s
- Eventually allowing father and son to be reunited and a broken family to be reconciled
From inside the story, it must have seemed like a mess, but looking back, from outside the story, it is a thing of beauty as we see God weave his golden threads of redemption to bind up the brokenness and work even the sinful choices into his good plan.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” (Genesis 50:20 NLT)
Dare we trust God to do the same for us? Could it be that in the midst of our messy stories he has a plan?