In Genesis 41:51 we read:
“Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, ‘It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.’”
That is just incredible when you think about it. Most of us are familiar with Joseph’s story, and the suffering he went through in the land of Egypt. This man was sold by his brothers into slavery, worked as a slave for years, falsely accused of sexual assault, and imprisoned for at least two years. All of this spanning roughly thirteen years of his life! Needless to say, Joseph suffered greatly while he was in Egypt. The loneliness, frustration, heartbreak, and fear he must have felt would have crippled most people. But, as the story goes on, Joseph is later blessed and rewarded by God. He gets a new job, a wife, and two sons.
But, it is the name of his firstborn son that hits so powerfully, and teaches us something beautiful about God. Look again at the meaning of Manasseh’s name. “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” Amazing! One blessing from God, and Joseph counts all those years of suffering as nothing compared to the joy he now has. He looks into the eyes of his newborn sons and all he can think about is the goodness of God. That should show us something about how powerful God and His blessings are.
I cannot tell you the amount of times I have undergone incredibly difficult experiences. Each and every time my faith is challenged, my soul feels crushed, and I feel alone. Yet, God has always shined through and walked alongside me. He always blesses me even in the worst of circumstances. Sometimes that blessing is a friend spending quality time with me, other times it may be an encouraging passage of Scripture I stumble across, and other times it may even be someone simply offering to pray for me. The point being, that even when our pains and sufferings abound, God is always there to bless us. And those blessings not only help us get through life, but outshine the darkness of the sufferings.
Now, we know blessings in this life on earth are nowhere promised to us. If God chooses to bless us here and now, then glory be to Him. But if He chooses not to, we all have one blessing promised to us that we are able to look forward to. We possess a confident hope in this blessing. One day, we Christians will experience the ultimate and final blessing from God. Our uniting with Him and Christ in heaven. When this happens, everything we have ever experienced on earth: loss, pain, fear, death, you name it, all of it will fail to measure up to the glory of God and His presence. When we, with unveiled faces in glory, look upon our God, we all will echo those words spoken by Joseph all those years ago and say, “God has made me forget all my trouble,” or simply, we may just utter one small word: “manasseh.”