Weekly Reflections: Blessing in disguise


“I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. Now do not be upset or blame yourselves because you sold me here. It was really God who sent me ahead of you to save people’s lives.” – Genesis 45:4-5

Trip to Australia

Our partners in Australia had given my wife and me an opportunity to take time to do some study and writing at least for a month. My wife Pearl will do some exposures in the churches and in the library of our sister seminary in Adelaide, while I will do some research and writing. Thanks to Lyn Leane of the South Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia, for making all the arrangements, especially the funds for our trip. Also, thanks to Andrew Dutney, the Principal of the Parkin-Wesley Theological College, for inviting us to do our work in their college and use their library. Parkin-Wesley is our sister seminary in Adelaide.

Pearl and I were already lining up to check in at Ninoy Aquino International Airport for our Qantas flight to Adelaide via Sydney when we were informed that our flight would be delayed for about eight hours because there was an emergency closure of the airport. The Qantas management did not mention in the formal letter of explanation and apology, but we came to know later from its staff that the airport was closed and tightly guarded for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s departure to Hong Kong. Who knows, some militants might do a Bangkok or Mumbai-like incident?

Many of the passengers were quite disappointed for the delay of their flight, especially those with connecting flights using other airlines. But we could not do anything. Apparently, the president’s security is given more priority than anything else. Qantas Airways had to make hotel arrangements for the 150 passengers.

For Pearl and I, what happened was a blessing in disguise. It was our first time to stay in a five-star hotel. We have read and heard a lot about Manila Hotel, where important gatherings were usually held. We have seen it many times from the outside, but we never had the chance to see the inside of the hotel.

Manila Hotel was originally designed by David Burnham, an American architect who also designed Baguio City, especially the famous park named after him. Later on, the renovation of the hotel was done by the internationally known Filipino architect, Leandro Locsin. Pearl and I never imagined staying in this famous hotel even just for a few hours. Indeed, if our flight were not delayed, if the NAIA were not closed, perhaps we were not given the opportunity to stay at the Manila Hotel.

Joseph and his brothers

This reminds me about the Biblical story of Joseph and his brothers (Gen. 37-47). Joseph’s brothers hated him so much for being their father’s favorite. And so, they sold him to slavery and lied to their own father, telling him their brother was killed by a wild animal. By the turn of events, their brother Joseph, however, became later on a high official of the Egyptian Empire.

Then, there was a famine in Canaan, and Joseph’s brothers had to go to Egypt to look for food. They never realized that the one who sold them food was no other than their own brother whom they sold to slavery. Joseph introduced himself to his brothers, who were quite upset, saying: “I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. Now do not be upset or blame yourselves because you sold me here. It was really God who sent me ahead of you to save people’s lives” (Genesis 45:4-5).

Turning tragedies into blessings

Joseph firmly believed that God is the one guiding the course of history, even personal and family history. Human beings, because of their greed and selfishness or even jealousy, can cause tragedies, hurts and misfortunes to their fellow human beings, even to their own brother or sister, but God in mysterious ways can turn those things into blessings. Indeed, human beings propose but God disposes. Joseph’s brother sold him into slavery, but God guided him all the way into becoming one of the rulers of Egypt and through him his own brothers who hurt him were saved from possible death due to famine.

Our host in Australia, Lyn Leane, told us this morning that due to the world financial crisis, the New Zealand mining company operating in Northeast Luzon affecting the lives of indigenous peoples in the area, had finally canceled its operation. Of course, we should not also discount the fact that the local people strongly oppose the mining operation in the area. Also personally, without the emergency closure of NAIA affecting us and other passengers, perhaps we have not experienced staying in a five-star hotel.

Indeed, God can turn our misfortunes and tragedies into blessings. God is a God of history, a God who guides the life of humankind. But when would the likes of Joseph’s brothers today ever learn and realize that the God who made the heavens and the earth is the Lord of history, and so, they must turn away from their wicked ways? #


3 Responses to “Weekly Reflections: Blessing in disguise”

  1. Spidvid Says:

    We may not always have the best things in life but we could always see what’s best in them.

  2. Holla boy Says:

    It was a lovely site for student,especially for me.And i would like if your response is not less than 450 words.

  3. Holla boy Says:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: