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Joseph and his brothersCOLLAPSE

Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Worries and stress will come our way, but God is faithful and He will help us during our times of trouble. The article I chose wrote about Joseph. Joseph was one of Jacob’s youngest sons and he loved him very much. Jacob’s older sons, were jealous of Joseph, so in their jealousy, they put him in a pit for three days and then sold him into slavery. Joseph went through many trials and then he became king after many years. During his reign, there was famine and his brothers came to get food. Joseph, after recognizing his brothers, “relapsed”, of some sort and he remembered all that they did to him and decided to get revenge. “Such individuals routinely insist that they have put the trauma completely behind them, have suffered no lingering impact, and that earlier trauma is of no relevance to later physical and emotional health” (Mann, 2001). Many insights about stress can be gleaned from this article. It shows that if you do not handle and work through the trauma that you experienced, one day it will come back to you. That is exactly what happened with Joseph. He never worked through what happened to him as a teenager and seeing his brothers again triggered the pain. If Joseph, would have turned to God, he could have handled seeing his brothers with forgiveness and patience. God tells us in the Bible that we can turn to Him and He will help us. This story is one of many stories in the Bible that deals with stress. Another story that comes to mind is, the woman who was brought to Jesus to be stoned for her sins. I could only imagine what was going on in her mind during this time, she knew she had done wrong and now she was about to be stoned to death. Jesus though, handled this situation and told her to go and sin no more (John 8). Those words were a confirmation of peace and forgiveness. In that moment, when this woman was probably very stressed out, put her eyes on Jesus and He forgave her.

Stress is something I understand very well. I have experienced some traumatic events in my lifetime and I am sure that there will be more to come. One of the most recent ones though, through me for a loop. I was working part-time, in school, church youth leader, planning my wedding, and now working on buying my grandparents house. It seemed as if everything that could go wrong, was going wrong. The water did not work, the pipes under the house had major leaks, the well pump did not work, and all of this had to work before we could buy the house. All of that stuff got fixed and then it was closing day, which we closed on the last day possible, and during this time, even though I was completely stressed out, my family and I trusted God. God helped us get the house and He is still with us. My husband and I got back from our honeymoon and we had letters in the mail saying that our house was going to be put up for auction. My stress level went back up, but then I remembered all that God has brought us through and I know that He can bring us through this.

Mann, S. (2001). Joseph and His Brothers: A Biblical Paradigm for the Optimal Handling of Traumatic Stress. Journal of Religion and Health, Vol. 40, No. 3

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