Sunday, June 23, 2013

As Luck Would Have It

As Luck Would Have It
June 24, 2013
Genesis 37:15  ". . . a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, 'What are you looking for?'"

Luck.  If not for bad luck, some people would have no luck at all.  That's how it certainly feels some days; bad luck follows like a little black rain cloud of course.  Everyone can re-live a moment in history when one simple moment of luck could be reversed and life would be completely different.  A car accident, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, something that only chance could get right.  The same is also true of glorious moments when luck pulls through for us, like for the person with the winning lottery ticket.  But is chance really something that happens to us all?  Maybe yes, maybe no.  In the Bible, luck was not an idea thought of by Jews or Christians.  Luck is a more recent explanation for random events.  In the Bible, random events were considered providence by the Lord, not out-of-the-ordinary, unexplainable happenings.  Joseph knew this all too well.  He didn't consider luck as any part of his story.  Or did he?

Remember the story of Joseph, going out to meet his brothers who threw him into a well and sold him as a slave. There is a little two-line sentence we gloss over, one that could be seen as very lucky for Joseph or very UN-lucky for him.  Jacob had sent his son, Joseph, out to check on his brothers who were tending the family flocks in Shechem.  Joseph went as instructed but could not find his brothers.  They had moved on to fuller, greener pastures.  Joseph was wandering in the fields when a random stranger walked up to him and told him where to find his brothers.  What great luck!  Had that random stranger not been there wandering in the empty fields, Joseph would have had to go back home, unable to find his brothers.  This stroke of good luck led Joseph to continue on his path in successfully locating his brothers.  Thankfully that random stranger was there to lead Joseph toward them.  Joseph went right to where the man instructed and was able to find his brothers. Unfortunately, that was also the immediate moment Joseph's brothers decided to sell him into slavery.

I'm sure after Joseph was being led off in chains, he regretted finding his brothers.  He probably replayed the events over and over in his mind, regretting meeting up with that random stranger who told him where to find them.  If only Joseph had turned back home when he couldn't find his brothers in the fields of Shechem.  What a huge stroke of bad luck it was, running into that stranger in the fields.  As luck would have it that random stranger in the fields, who told him where to find his brothers, changed his life forever.  How unlucky for him.  Or was it?  If you fast forward to the end of Joseph's story, he doesn't credit anything at all to luck but only to the providential hand of the Lord.  The Lord allowed his brothers to move on to fuller, greener fields.  The Lord probably even provided that random stranger to advise Joseph on where to find his brothers.  It is even possible the random stranger in the empty fields was an angel sent by the Lord.  The point being, there was no such thing as luck in Joseph's story and there is no such thing as luck in your story, either.

The Lord does not leave anything to chance.  Life is not a series of random events or luck.  It is a completely orchestrated chain of circumstances intended to lead us all on the path the Lord has for our lives.  All of it.  Nothing is out of His reach or beyond His control and your luck as nothing to do with how your life turned out.  The Lord allows what seem like random happenings to shape your life and path, however unlucky they feel.  It is not to your benefit to argue about those events, to regret them and wish they had turned out differently.  As soon as they happen, they are in the past and it becomes your opportunity to ask the Lord how He wants you to use those things for Him and His glory.  We all need to have the mindset of Joseph in the end and realize the Lord wants to use those happenings to orchestrate something amazing in your life.  Don't fight what seems like happenstance; you cannot control what seem like random events.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Genesis 37, Genesis 45:8, Num 26:52-54, Josh 14:2, Josh 18:10, Ps 16:5, Pr 16:13, Ecc 5:18-19, Jonah 1:7, Luke 1:9, Acts 1:26

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