Amnesia & Ambrosia
Amnesia and Ambrosia. Manasseh and Ephraim, meaning forgetful and fruitful, as Joseph explains in naming his sons.
It is because God has made me forget all my trouble . . . and made me fruitful in the land of my suffering. Genesis 42:52
Fruitful in the land of my suffering. Joseph makes a double declaration – the names themselves and why he chose them.
Think about it. Joseph had spent 13 years mired in misfortune—beaten, thrown into a pit and left for dead by his brothers. Sold into slavery. Falsely accused of attempted rape. Sent to prison for a long decade of hardship and hard labor. And finally, brought before Pharaoh to interpret two dreams of epic consequence.
When Joseph was sprung from jail to decipher dreams, God showed him not only their meaning but the key to surviving the seven years of severe famine that would befall Egypt. Recognizing God’s hand of favor upon Joseph, Pharaoh elevated him to the highest office in the land, with rings, robes, chariots and Egyptians bowing in the street. He was just 30 years old.
How did Joseph put behind him all those years of hurt, betrayal and loss? Surely, he did not forget the pit, the chains, the years of hard labor and bondage. Yet, he allowed God to use these trials to forge character, capability and trust through impossible circumstance. Joseph was steadfast in his merciful refusal to look back with unforgiveness. He relinquished his right to hold others responsible for his mistreatment and opted instead to believe God for the blessing no matter what happened, to see his hardship from the point of view of God’s faithful provision and unfailing love.
Joseph chose holy amnesia in order to embrace divine ambrosia—God’s abundant blessing upon all he set his heart to. His gave his past no power to pain or hinder him. When faced at last with the opportunity to reconcile with the instigators of his demise, he said to his distraught brothers, “Do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here. . . God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant.”
Ask God how He might render you fruitful through something you might rather forget?