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33: It Helps to Name the Pain

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Read Genesis 45:1-15. Do you know what your name means? I remember my mum telling me that Robert means “bright fame”. I’m still not sure what to do with that! Long after his many years of suffering, when Joseph was prospering in Egypt, he had to children. He gave them names that reflected the sadness and pain he had been through in the past. His first son was called Manasseh, from the Hebrew word for “forget”, reminding Joseph that God had given him the ability to forget all his troubles. His second son was named Ephraim, which comes from the Hebrew word for “fruitful”. Joseph recognised that God had made him fruitful in his new land, despite the suffering and pain he went through to get there.

Going back and reliving the hurt and pain of our past can feel like being sucked into a black hole. Many of us do all we can to avoid it. But the Bible tells us Joseph faced up to his past. When he is finally reunited with his family, he weeps so loudly that the Egyptians could hear him (Genesis 45:2). His honest grieving helped him to truly forgive his brothers. So much so, he was willing to bless them and went on to support them financially, emotionally, and spiritually until the end of his life. Can you see how God has gone ahead of you to deliver you from the hurt and pain in your own life?


•Have you grieved over any hurt and pain in your life, or are you avoiding it? With God’s help, can you name your pain and ask him to help you move on?