When we have the time and ability to reflect on our life experiences we tend to see things from a broad perspective. We no longer look at each event as it happened per se, but rather, with a wider view of how it shaped our life in the long run. Looking back, we acknowledge that things that seemed negative when they occurred, such as the loss of a job, may have spurred us on to greater success over time, which we might otherwise never have experienced.
Joseph takes this view in this week’s portion. After he introduces himself to his brothers, he notices their reluctance to talk to him. After all, they are embarrassed that they sold him to slavery twenty-two years earlier. Yet he tells them explicitly that he holds no grudge against them. “You weren’t the one who sent me here; it was G-d,” he tells them.
True, Joseph endured many hardships along the way; however, having become ruler in Egypt, he’s done well for himself. In this capacity he can also provide for his extended family during the seven years of hunger. In the end, everything has turned out for the best for everyone.
Moments of reflection afford us the ability to realize how great a role G-d plays day-to-day affairs. What might be considered a hard stretch in life may lead to the best outcome in the long run. But it’s impossible to know that when things look bleak; only hindsight is 20/20. However, when we understand that G-d, in His infinite wisdom, knows what the ultimate good is, we can be assured that even a black cloud is endowed with a silver lining.