I am always touched by the way Joesph forgives and calls his brothers to him. But the line that hit me this time was in verse 5. ... for God did send me before you to preserve life. This is not only powerful in that Joseph holds no grudge, but also because he sees a purpose for his experience in Egypt.
In a loosely metaphorical way, I thought of my ancestors. I thought of people who suffered, hundreds, maybe thousands, of years ago to survive. I thought about how easy it is to get caught up in my own bubble here and to forget that there were those sent before me to give me life.
How often do I see my real place on the continuum? How often do I consider sacrifices of my predecessors? And how often do I think about people I am coming before? It is much too easy to isolate my experience, but like Joseph, I want to see my purpose and be more reflective about the purposes of others that came before me. Why have I been sent before those in my own future?
Does our blood get more and more diluted as the years pass? Can we still feel the influence of our past running through our veins? And do we recognize the potential of those in the future that will have us running through them?