One year ago, people around the world were stunned by a shooting rampage that left 32 victims dead on the campus of Virginia Tech University. In the aftermath, the mother of one critically wounded student who survived said she did not want the ordeal to become the defining moment in her son’s life. Instead, she hoped it could be “something positive, some great celebration of his life.”
When the unthinkable happens, it may seem impossible to believe that anything can overcome the emotional scars. Yet, the life of Joseph offers a powerful illustration of God’s transforming power (Gen. 37–50). The brothers who sold him into slavery were sure he would take revenge on them (50:15-17). But Joseph told them, “You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (v.20).
When we place our desire for revenge in God’s hands, we become participants in the remarkable process described by Paul: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21).
The defining moments of our lives are not determined by the evil done to us, but by our response through the grace and power of God.
When rough the path from day to day,
When sorrows fill our eyes with tears,
Our choice to find our hope in Christ
Can lift our soul and calm our fears. —D. De Haan
Let danger drive you to Jesus.