The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes
—Proverbs 21:1

Pat Neff was a governor of Texas and a former president of Baylor University. He used to love to tell the story about a group of retired teachers from Baylor who came back to the campus for a class reunion. They hadn’t seen each other in years and wanted to catch up with one another. So the first teacher said, “Well, since I saw you last, I got married.” The other teacher responded, “Well, that’s good.” “Yeah, but the guy I married is twice as old as I am.” “Oh, well, that’s bad.” “But he’s worth millions of dollars.” The other teacher said, “Well, that’s good.” “Yeah, but he won’t let me spend a penny of it.” “Well, that’s bad.” “But he built me a million-dollar home.” “Oh, well, that’s good.” “But it burned down last week.” “Well, that’s bad.” “But he was in it.” You know, usually it’s a mistake to take a single incident and label it good or bad until you know the whole story. And that’s certainly true when it comes to our lives.

Many people make the mistake of judging their life by a single incident and saying, “This is good,” or, “This is bad.” For example, imagine trying to view a parade through a knothole in a fence. You wouldn’t get the big picture, would you? You could see the two or three people immediately in front of you, but you couldn’t see the magnificent parade in its entirety. On the other hand, if you stood on top of a tall building and looked down on that parade, you could see the beginning, the middle, and the end.

When it comes to judging our lives, we can’t always see the big picture, but God sees it. God has a different perspective than we do. From where He sits on the throne of heaven, He sees the beginning of our story, He sees the middle, and He sees the end, because He has already planned the end. And while we may not understand individual incidents in our life, and we sometimes are tempted to feel discouraged, the truth is God knows what He is doing, because He has planned it all.

When we look at the life of Joseph, we see a man who had a number of incidents in his life that could be labeled as bad. They were tragedies, at least in Joseph’s eyes. Think about it–mistreatment, false accusation, wrong imprisonment. But then came the day when Joseph was able to see the big picture. That day was his day of deliverance, and we find it in Genesis 41.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Day of Deliverance” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.