by Dr. James Willingham
The senior years can come as quite a shock, when one had ill health and all that implies. One reason why I have not written much lately has been that very fact. In the last two months my wife was in the hospital twice, and then I felt like I should have been there several times during that period. Seems like providence, while a welcome doctrine when it is favorable, has another side, when it involves hardship, pain, and suffering. Life is a deuce mixture of the good and the bad. Praising God for the good is an easy task. Praising Him for the bad is another question, and yet it is precisely what the Christian Faith has advocated with its centerpiece being the cross of Christ. There we see the most depressing, the most miserable, the most adverse providence possible, and it turned out to bring to pass the greatest good.
The same teaching is presented to us in the life of the Old Testament character, Joseph. His brothers sold him into slavery, the wife of his master lied about him, and the Pharaoh’s cupbearer forgot his promise to Joseph for two years, but in the end Joseph summed it up rather succinctly: “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good to bring it to pass as it is this day to save much people alive.”(Gen.50:20). Having face many such traumatic events in my life time of nearly seventy five years, I have often had recourse to the cross of Christ and to his allegorical shadow in the Old Testament, Joseph. for help in dealing with such matters.