Suddenly, this great man, this strong-hearted and efficient prime minister of a mighty nation, collapsed inside. Like the rest of us, great men and women encounter those times in life when they can no longer restrain their emotions. Composure flies away, and feelings take control. That was what happened to Joseph at this long-awaited moment in time. It is at such sacred crossroads words fail us. Often we need to get alone to gain our composure. Joseph did.
“Joseph hurried out for he was deeply stirred over his brother, and he sought a place to weep; and he entered his chamber and wept there” (Genesis 43:30).
Can’t you imagine the scene? All of a sudden, the handsome, confident leader of millions has rushed to his bedroom and collapsed in sobs. All those years passed in review. All the loneliness. All the loss. All the seasons and birthdays and significant occasions without his family. It was too much to contain, like a rushing river pouring into a lake, swelling above the dam. His tears ran, and he heaved with great sobs. All of a sudden, he was a little boy again, missing his daddy.
There have been times in my own life when I’ve had doubts, when I’ve stumbled over great cracks that appeared in my world. I’ve had those times when I climbed into my own bed and wept, crying out to God, just as you have. Such is life, especially when you decide to be real rather than protect some kind of super-confident image. It’s comforting to realize we’re in good company in times like that, isn’t it?
Joseph was a great and powerful man, admittedly, but he was also a real human being with real human emotions, who could step out of the corridors of power and have the strength to weep his heart out.