A Relationship Fixer–Upper

“And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.” 
—Genesis 45:15

The word “restoration” is one of my favorites. I love the idea of taking something old and broken and making it like new.

One of the clerks at the Home Depot where I do most of my home improvement shopping owns a ’56 Ford pickup. When I see it in the employee parking area, I can’t help but stare. It’s one of the most beautifully restored vehicles I’ve ever seen, complete with its mid–fifties turquoise finish. Even though it’s a truck, my suspicion is that the owner would rather die than put anything in the bed that might scratch it.

The passage today talks about a different kind of restoration—a relationship fixer–upper. What Joseph’s brothers had done to him was horrible. Their hostility toward him as a teenager had led them to sell him—they had actually wanted to kill him but changed their minds when the opportunity to exchange him for cash money presented itself!

However, to earn this relationship with his brothers, Joseph had been an arrogant little spoiled brat, shamelessly strutting his stuff in their faces.

Now it’s almost 30 years later. All of these men have faced untold hardships. Things haven’t turned out according to plan for any of them. Maturity has taken root. And now Joseph stands in front of his brothers like my Home Depot friend must have stood in front of his rusted old pickup muttering to himself, “This one could use some serious restoration.”

Can you picture these grown men, embracing each other? Today’s verse tells us that they wept openly, probably with regret for the years that had passed without making things right but filled with sheer delight over the sparkling new finish on their family relationship.

My favorite part of this story is what they did after their broken relationship had been restored. They talked. There was so much ground to cover, so much to say. They couldn’t wait to get re–acquainted. Conversation after restoration is sheer delight.

Which one of our relationships needs to be redone? Which one is covered with the rust of silence and bitterness? Picture what it might be like to confess your wrongdoing, forgive them for their part, then sit down over coffee in luxurious conversation.

Wouldn’t it be great if people would gaze at this healing, like I do when I see that turquoise pickup? “What a tremendous restoration,” they’d say.

Excerpted from the NIV Dad’s Devotional Bible.

Bible Study

  • god-assumes-full

    God Assumes Full Responsibility for Our Needs When We Obey Him

    God has promised to meet our needs, but, in this time... Read more
  • What Is the Meaning of the Divine Name Yahweh?

    Yahweh is an important name in the Old Testament and... Read more
  • Reflecting on Biblical Hope

    “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will... Read more


  • Be Thankful for Jesus, the God-Man

    As we enter the season of Thanksgiving, only one... Read more
  • Strong in Grace

    Strong in Grace

    In Paul's letter to Timothy, we see the picture of a... Read more
  • The Suffering of Job and the Goodness of God

    The story of Job is a strong lesson on suffering and... Read more

Devotional Reading Plans

  • Guide to Family Worship: Help Your Child Learn How to Handle Fear

    Dear Parent, One of the most common issues of... Read more
  • Daniel: God Still Reigns

    If you re a Jew in Babylon, you’ve got reason to... Read more
  • Living a Balanced Life

    This 7-day devotional offers reminders of what is most... Read more


  • Start the New Year Studying Proverbs as a Family

    Many people start the New Year making resolutions on... Read more
  • Does Anything Prevent God from Answering Our Prayers?

      Hear my prayer, LORD; let my cry for help come... Read more
  • 5 Easy Things You Can Do to Hear the Lord’s Voice More Clearly

    “Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you! O... Read more


  • Romans 8:28 SpeakLight Danny Gokey

    Romans 8:28 / #SpeakLight / Danny Gokey

    And we know that all things work together for good to... Read more
  • James 5:16 - Steven Malcolm

    James 5:16 / #SpeakLight / Steven Malcolm

    Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for... Read more
  • 2 corinthians 5:17 phil joel

    2 Corinthians 5:17 with Phil Joel

    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new... Read more

Spiritual Growth

  • Bible Journaling for Kids

    Bible journaling is a great way for kids to grow... Read more
  • What Is the Meaning of the Divine Name Yahweh?

    Yahweh is an important name in the Old Testament and... Read more
  • Holy Spirit

    To Walk in the Spirit is to Obey the Initial Promptings of the Spirit

    Who do you turn to for daily guidance on how to live... Read more

Topical Reading Plans

  • Keys to Revelation

      Key Word: The Revelation of the Coming of... Read more