GETTING PAST THE PAIN
By Carolyn Dale Newell
“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:18-19 NKJV
How do you rise above a tragedy? How does your world continue to turn after it’s been shaken? How does life go on when the prodigal fails to return? How do you pick up the pieces when you have lost a child or spouse? How do you heal from the abuse or abandonment haunting you?
For thirteen years, life robbed Joseph of his family and freedom. Even before his brothers sold him to slave traders, he lived with their hatred daily.
Once Joseph arrived in Egypt, he was purchased by Potiphar. Potiphar treated Joseph kindly. Surely, Joseph thought of home. He remembered his little brother, Benjamin. He missed his loving father, Jacob. Joseph depended on God in order to heal and move on with life. How do we know that?
Joseph lived a holy life worshipping God. He refused to taste the bitterness his circumstances offered him. When Potiphar’s wife plotted to seduce joseph, He fled. Joseph wanted nothing to do with her. He remained obedient to his Lord.
Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of trying to seduce her, and Joseph was imprisoned.
No resentment yet! Even in harsh conditions, God was with Joseph, and God caused him to prosper.
In prison, Joseph met Pharaoh’s butler and baker. Joseph demonstrated his gift by explaining their dreams. The butler promised to remember joseph when he was released from prison. Like everyone in his life, the butler let Joseph down.
Two years later, Pharaoh cannot find anyone to interpret his dreams. Finally, the butler recalls his friend in prison. Joseph is summoned to Pharaoh’s castle.
Pharaoh describes his dreams, and Joseph explains they mean two things.
First, Egypt would experience seven years of plenty, but then, they would face seven years of famine. Joseph devised a system to collect grain in order to survive the famine.
Pharaoh promotes joseph to second in command under him. During the seven years Joseph was busy storing grain, he married an Egyptian woman.
Joseph and his bride had two boys. Joseph had his own family. A family that loved him. He was respected by all in Egypt. He lacked for nothing.
Did he remember his father and brothers? Did he hold a grudge?
In biblical times, a person’s name carried a definition. If we examine the names Joseph gave his children, we will discover God healed Joseph’s pain.
His first son’s name was Manasseh, and it means “for God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house” (Gen. 41:51). The second child’s name was Ephraim, meaning “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction” (Gen. 41:52).
Surely, Joseph lived according to the words Isaiah would write many years later (our focal verse). Joseph never dwelt on the past. God did a new thing in his life, and God will do a new thing in our lives too.
Nothing is too hard for God. He creates rivers in the dry barren desert. He heals the broken past. He mends our hearts that ache with memories. Will you trust God to do a miracle for you?
Lord, we ask You to heal our hearts and our broken lives like You healed Joseph’s heart. Ease the pain until it vanishes. Fill us with Your unspeakable joy. We praise and thank You in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Read Genesis 41:37-52.
HIKING THE TRAIL
How much do you pray for God to heal your heart? We often fail to ask God to heal sorrow and heartache, but He wants to make them new. Commit to pray and trust Him.
Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.