"But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance." Genesis 45:5-7
Joseph finally reveals his identity to his brothers, explaining to them the reasons for his hardships. It's interesting that he does not dwell on the past, reminding his brothers of their faults. He does not once blame his brothers for their ill-treatment of him, rather he continually describes the events as an act of God. He portrays the circumstances as an unraveling of a divine plan that was meant for the preservation of his family.
I find it difficult to understand Joseph's ability to forget his brother's wrong doing. In a world that demands justice, it's hard to believe Joseph was so willing to look beyond the past. However, the only word that describes Joseph's capacity to forget and forge ahead, without any glimmer of bitterness or anger, is forgiveness. It does not seem like an instantaneous occurrence upon being reunited with his siblings, but rather it appears as if Joseph had already forgiven them.
He did not require an apology or any type of closure. He didn't have to see his brothers face-to-face or belabor the reinactment of the situation. Nor did Joseph have to vent or discuss his feelings, and try to analyze the deep rooted pain. Joseph, it seems, simply had already reconciled in his heart that God was the one in control, and Joseph was at God's biding. Joseph sees himself as an instrument, and he does not question how God uses His tool for His divine purpose.
When wrongs are made against us, it is important to realize that God is the one who allows these events to occur. We can blame and point the finger. We can pity ourselves for the cruelty inflicted upon our lives, but when it gets down to it, we need to understand that God is the one who is planning out our lives, even permitting certain circumstances to exist for His grand plan. With this in mind, it should make it a little easier to forgive and forget because the objective is not centered on us; the goal is not to make us happy, but rather the goal is for His glory. Therefore, like Jospeh, if we can just look beyond ourselves, we can easily forgive and forget.
Please give me a heart that would be just as humble and pure as Joseph's. May I realize that everything that occurs in my life is filtered through Your hands, and that everything is going to come together for Your purpose.