Thursday, August 11, 2011

Scars

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Genesis 41:37-57


TO CHEW ON: "Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: 'For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father's house.'" Genesis 41:51.

Overnight Joseph's fortunes turned around completely. He went from wearing prison rags to fine linen and pure gold. He went from being a prisoner to a powerful vizier, and from responsibility for a few in prison to administering the entire land. He went from having the reputation of a would-be rapist and liar to someone who was wise and trustworthy. In the days, weeks, and years that followed, He went from being alone to having a family.

But the thirteen or so unpleasant years in Egypt left their scars. They are seen in the names he gives his sons. He calls the first Manasseh which literally means "Making Forgetful." It signifies how he can now put behind him not only his time in Pharaoh's prison but his painful family memories: "For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father's house" - Genesis 41:51.

He names his second son Ephraim which means "Fruitfulness": "For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction" - Genesis 41:52.

It all looks so good for you, Joseph. But beware. For inevitably God will cycle around what you haven't yet dealt with. Is there still infection festering under those scars? How will you react when God ushers those brothers back into your life? Will you be bitter and vengeful, or forgiving?

For this is what God often does — re-introduces the old unfinished business to test our growth, show us our own real selves and where we're spiritually immature, and point out to us where we still have some growing to do.


PRAYER: Dear God, I too have scars left from experiences in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Help me to deal with old issues so there is no residue of bitterness or unforgiveness in my life. Amen.

MORE: Dark Night of the Soul by Steve Bell

This song speaks to me of one way we can come to a place where we can forgive people for the way they have handled us in the past. It is by abandoning ourselves to God — the One who has loved us enough to wound us into growth.

Lyrics are here if you want to follow along.







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