And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house.
And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.
Last year, I read a book that shared the above verses. At that time, the word Ephraim, being fruitful in the land of my affliction, really touched my heart. It gave me a longing. That is what I wanted, to be fruitful after having such pain.
Last night we had a visiting preacher preach out of those same verses. He said, "Before you can ever give birth to a Ephraim, you must give birth to a Manasseh." Before you can be fruitful from your tragedy or pain, you must do some forgetting and forgiving.
Oh, and as we know, the birth of a child is not easy or without pain, but what joy comes after it has been delivered.
One of the stories he shared was about a poor wife who saved feed sacks to make a new dress. She sewed it beautifully so she could wear a nice dress to look beautiful for her husband. When she showed it to her husband, he mistakenly thought she had took the little money they had left and spent it on the dress. He took it angrily and tore up. She gathered up the shreds and put them in a bottom drawer. But the marriage was in shreds too. She looked at it daily and became so bitter with her husband. One day she heard a sermon on forgiving and forgetting. She hurried home and took that torn dress she had put her heart into and put it in the wood stove. Her husband caught her and when asked what she was doing she said, "I'm getting rid of the evidence." Healing came to her heart and healing came to their marriage that day.
"Get rid of the evidence."
It is hard to forgive and forget when you keep hanging on. Sometimes it isn't something you can touch. Sometimes it is a memory that you dwell on. Hurtful words or feeling abandoned or unloved. Sometimes it is disappointments. Sometimes it is our own selves we need to forgive and stop dwelling on. We've all done stupid things and then done them again.
Forgive & forget......................
But it is hard! All the Lord asks is for us to be willing. Be willing, then HE will give you the grace to forget.
The Lord spoke to me about a couple areas of my life where I am doing that. I want to be fruitful from affliction that comes my way. I want beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, I want my life to be a testimony of the glory of God.
But first I must give birth to a Manasseh.
Only then can I give birth to Ephraim.