Open Arms

Genesis 42-45

I love this part of Joseph’s story. He is finally reunited with his brothers. It’s a beautiful reunion. But it could have ended quite differently.

Joseph was looking at the ten men who had wanted him dead, who had thrown him into a pit then sat down to dinner like it was the most normal thing in the world. They sold their brother to evil men, probably hoping Joseph would die at their hands instead of the brothers’. It a heartless betrayal.

Yet when Joseph meets them after thirteen years a slave, he embraces his brothers. There is no mention of the sins they had committed against him. He eventually welcomed them with open arms.

Most of us wouldn’t have blamed him if he had acquired ten slaves that day. Tit for tat. An eye for an eye. Karma, baby! That’s not what happened. And some people scratch their heads and wonder why.

The answer is in the life Joseph had lived those thirteen years in captivity. He walked with God. He trusted God, depended on God, submitted to the will of God. You can’t hold a grudge if you’re holding onto God.

Which got me thinking about the term, “open arms.” When you stretch out your arms to someone you leave your heart unprotected. It’s a gesture of openness, acceptance, trust. vulnerability. You take a chance when you open your arms to someone who has wronged you.

But isn’t that what Jesus did? The ultimate open arms occurred when they stretched His arms out and nailed Him to the cross. Talk about vulnerable! And He opened Himself up like that for those of us who betrayed Him, disrespected Him, hurt Him.

He did that for you.

We know that Joseph is a type of Christ, a picture of who Jesus is. I think it’s a beautiful picture.

What I see in these chapters I read today is an example of how I want my walk with the Lord to look. No grudges. No revenge-seeking. No holding onto hurt or painful memories.

Is there someone who needs your open arms today?

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