We mourn over the losses we've suffered over the years, and rightfully so.
The scars they've left are indeed painful, but God is the restorer of years. He can buy back time with joy provided we don't take too long in unburdening our hearts to Him.
Joseph wept seven times. His weeping started the day he saw his brothers and it continued until after his father's death. At different periods he allowed himself to feel what the situation brought. He didn't push it aside as if he was too macho or strong to cry. He cried and at times he cried so hard and so much that he needed to be alone.
Some wait too long to make their peace with tragedy and pain in their lives. Some have waited to address these matters on their death beds when quality of life has gone leaving them no chance for reconciliation and peace.
Here are the times Joseph cried:
1. Genesis 42:24
2. Genesis 43:30
3. Genesis 45:2
4. Genesis 45:14
5. Genesis 46:29
6. Genesis 50:1
7. Genesis 50:17
God had mercy on Jacob in that he got to have some wonderful years with Joseph under the best of circumstances. Jacob also had something to learn. He was a cunningly shrewd person in his earlier years. He stole his brother's birthright, he out-smarted Laban and became wealthy as a result and his sons took on the negative qualities by deceiving him into thinking that Joseph was dead. What a consequence of Jacob's doing by way of his own failure. Yet, God is merciful to Jacob. He got to see the fruitfulness and multiplying of his family over the span of 17 years in Egypt and how God's promise to Abraham was well on the way from 70 souls that came to Egypt to plus that at his death. He got a glimpse into the future and the promise.
Joseph's brothers, who did him wrong, realized their sin, confessed it and confronted what they had done in the past. this is what true repentance looks like. Actually, God made sure that they did by the situation that unfolded with Joseph. Sometimes, unfortunately, God has to step in and allow circumstances where we are forced to do what we otherwise wouldn't.
Joseph, himself, comes full circle with the ultimate purpose for his life. He now understands fully why God allowed all those horrible things to happen to him. No doubt, there was great spiritual growth that occurred, along with insight and wisdom as he acquired the grace to endure it all.
We must not drag our feet when it comes to confronting sin in our lives or any wrong we have done to others. Christians are to confess their faults, sin or wrongs to each other that there might be healing while there is still time. As we see in this story, God sleeps on nothing. He will expose sin and that among His own children. He saw to it that Joseph's brethren are dealt with. He refused to let the situation remain hidden. He brings justice for Joseph in the end.