“God has made me forget all my hardship …” Genesis xli, 51.
Painful memories are best forgotten. But the trouble with these festering wounds in our minds is that they don’t necessarily fade with time. Every recollection of a hurt or injustice or violation inflicts a pain as bad or worse than the original pain. We need a healing touch from God who alone knows how to deal with each one of us in a unique way.
Joseph lost his mother in his childhood. His father was careful to give him a double measure of love. That, however, paved the way for sibling rivalry. His elder brothers hated him. They hated him all the more because of his dreams. Some of them wanted to kill him. Eventually, they sold him off to a nomadic tribe that was headed to Egypt. This young victim of deceit and trafficking was soon to discover that his pains had only begun. He was sold off as a slave to an Egyptian priest. Although he gained the favor of his master, his youthful charm worked against him. He had to fend off advances from his master’s amorous wife. She leveled false charges against him and had him sent to a dungeon. That probably was the lowest level to which Joseph could have descended in that ancient world. He was an alien slave, imprisoned on serious charges of misbehavior. He felt abandoned by everyone as he did time as a prisoner of the most powerful man on earth, the Pharaoh. If it had not been for God’s faithfulness and care, Joseph would have become a mental wreck.
We know how God exalted Joseph to be the prime minister of Egypt. God gave him a woman of noble birth as his wife. God exalted Joseph because Joseph endured all hurts and injustices without trying to fight his case. He trusted God to vindicate him. And when God gave them a son, he named him Manasseh, which means God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.” This reveals the magnitude of pain that Joseph endured during his childhood and youth.
Some time later, as Providence would have it, Joseph’s brothers appeared before him to buy grain! In a flash, all his long-forgotten hurts and pain came back to life! Since he wasn’t recognized by his own brothers and because he had immense power and authority, he could have taken full revenge on them. But he never went beyond teasing them.
When God heals your inner hurts, He will give you the grace to forgive those who hurt you and acted wickedly against you. This is because He is the righteous Judge who knows every secret. He lifts up one and casts down another. He will vindicate you and exalt you in the presence of your enemies. His justice will comfort you and cause you to forget all your hardships. Will you trust God to work such a miracle in your life?