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Summer Devotional and Sermon Series

Week 9/Heroes: Joseph

“Israel [Jacab] said to Joseph, ‘Now I am ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive.’” Genesis 46:30

It was May 20, 1995. My graduation day from college. It was also my grandma’s birthday. My mom’s family, her parents, sister, brother-in-law, and two daughters, gathered in Chicago to celebrate. The night before they had a wonderful reunion as we don’t live close and don’t see each other often. The morning of the 20th my mother got a phone call saying that her younger and only sister, Margaret, wouldn’t wake up and she was rushed to the hospital. I remember watching my mom call from a payphone after the graduation ceremony to get some kind of news. She collapsed in a heap. Aunt Margaret had died from a brain aneurysm. The mood of the celebration dinner was somber and filled with stunned silence.

After that point, my grandfather was never the same. He still worshipped, prayed, and read his Bible. But when she left, a part of him left too. Children are not supposed to die before their parents.

Joseph “died” at 17. Part of Jacob did too. He never stopped mourning. He was broken. When the news came that Joseph was alive and when he saw him with his own eyes, his mourning period was over.

As Christians, we are not immune to the pains of this world. But instead of despair we continue to operate with hope. When loved ones die, we know it’s not death. We know they not just exist but are thriving like never before. When we are “ready to die” we are ready to say “see you later” to the ones we love, and ready to say, “it’s good to see you again” to the ones we love and to have our losses restored.


Genesis 46


Lord, thank you for understanding our losses being with us in grief. And thank your for not leaving us there by giving us a very real hope. In Jesus’ name. Amen.