Genesis 41:51

Joseph named his first-born son Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” NIV

Someone told me once that people fall into three basic categories — those who live life looking in the rearview mirror, those who live in the moment (right behind the steering wheel, if you will) and those who are focused on the road ahead and always looking around the next corner.

These are broad generalizations of course, but, over time, I’ve found them to be pretty true.  While people don’t spend all of their time in any one category, many are likely to find themselves spending more time in one category or another … accountants, for instance, are very good at looking back and at determining what happened in a company’s immediate past and how that might affect what will happen next.

Throughout my life, I’ve tended to spend more time in the looking forward category.  I enjoy thinking about the next thing and planning for fun things to come.

However, my pre-disposition to look forward has a dark side.   I am not meant to know the future, and I cannot control it.  When I come upon something that I want to turn out a certain way and I can see that it might not, that leads to worry, which stems from a lack of trust.

Joseph had been allowed to see the future.  God revealed to Joseph through Pharoah’s dream that a tremendous famine was coming.  God gave Joseph the understanding of this dream, and when Joseph proposed to Pharoah a proactive approach to the coming problem, Pharoah promoted Joseph to be the guy who would be in charge of solving it.

While he’s preparing all of Egypt for the famine that is to come, his first son is born.  Joseph names him Manasseh (forget), because, Joseph says, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.”

At this point in his life, (and perhaps throughout all of it) Joseph seems to me to be living in the moment and completely trusting God.  Not only is he not worried about the famine that he knows is coming, but, he isn’t worried about all of the terrible things that have happened to him that have brought him to this place, “God has made me forget …”  Without the past in his worry bucket, Joseph is able to be extremely effective in the task that God has assigned him to do.

That’s pretty powerful.  I will think about that today.

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Filed under Genesis, Old Testament

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