I quoted someone in my prayer journal a year ago that study of scriptures is an intimate association with an historic event. In the same entry I wrote Yahweh is known as a God who wants to involve himself, its not just the story of God but how God wants to interact with his people.
Now I am considering the life of Joseph for a class, and through the lens of God involvement, God interaction--there is a tension. Joseph was abused. The punch line, the end of the story, Joseph says that God meant the harm for good. No doubt, but the journey was full of tremendous pain.
That leads to Victor Frankl, the holocaust survivor who determined that the purpose of life was not pleasure (Freud) but meaning. That to live is to live a life of meaning, even if that meaning is in the midst of pain, of enduring and trying to survive the horror of genocide. Frankl did not think the only worthy life was one of pain, but that life was worth holding onto even when the pain is beyond measure.
I think that meaning is found in how God interacts, the where and the how and the when-- and the joy in recognizing and remembering it. Joseph did not find God's interaction only in the pain, or only after the pain. In seeing God's interaction though, Joseph understood the pain was not just pain and not to be endured alone. That God took man's abuse and directed toward something of purpose and power, and that God was interacting with Joseph, with us all the time.