During this time, before the first of the famine years, two sons were born to Joseph and his wife, Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On. Joseph named his older son Manasseh, for he said, “God has made me forget all my troubles and everyone in my father’s family.” Joseph named his second son Ephraim, for he said, “God has made me fruitful in this land of my grief.” (Genesis 41:50-52)
The Lord helped Joseph forgive his enemies, forget his past, and become fruitful in the land of his affliction. Consider some of the ways the Lord worked in Joseph’s life.
The Lord healed Joseph by giving him a new perspective on life.
I am sure that suddenly leaving the prison and entering into the palace was quite exciting for Joseph. Yet living in the palace doesn’t guarantee us that we are healed. The world is full of prominent people who are carrying around a lot of pain. Quite often we hear of a famous people who shortened their life through drug and alcohol abuse. Only God can help us have a healthy perspective on life and live.
The Lord healed Joseph through time.
It was more than twenty years between the time when Joseph was first sold into Egypt and when he saw his brothers once again. What do you suppose went on during this time? No doubt he thought a lot about his father and his brothers. I’m sure that he remembered the love his father had shown him, as well as the anger he had experienced from his brothers. I’m sure he rehearsed in his mind a million times the day his brothers threw him into the pit. Though perhaps he tried to put much of it out of his mind, I’m sure that his emotions kept hitting the replay button. Is there any benefit to reviewing our circumstances? I read several years ago that reviewing our circumstances is one of the necessary elements of emotional healing. According to this author, reviewing and even verbalizing our feelings helps us to organize our emotions so that we are better able to manage them. The time also allowed Joseph to search his soul. Rehashing the past will do little good unless we are willing to take an honest look at ourselves. Had he gone too far in revealing his dreams to his brothers? Did he ever flaunt before them his father’s favoritism? Perhaps the time in prison was necessary to help him see some things from his brothers’ perspective. Time also helped him to accept his circumstances. Someone has said that time heals all wounds. I’m not for sure that it is true, but time is necessary for us to work our way through our problems and learn to accept God’s will. A lot happened in Joseph’s life during those twenty years.
The Lord healed Joseph by giving him a reason to go on.
God was gracious to Joseph and gave him a new job, a new wife and a new family. Therefore, rather than taking them for granted, Joseph embraced them as blessings from God and began to build his life around them.
Do you have an area in your life where you need to let the Lord to heal you? Please know that even as I write this devotional, I am praying for you.