Genesis 41:52 He [Joseph] named the second son Ephraim, because as he said, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my misfortune.”
When I keep making the same judgments about my mentally ill stepson, I get discouraged about why I fall into that negative thinking. I’m quick to blame him in my mind for things he didn’t do. I always expect him to do things wrong. I don’t understand why he can’t seem to let go of his toxic friends who take advantage of him.
God extended grace to me. Why is it so hard for me to extend grace to my stepson?
If anyone had reason to be bitter about his circumstances, Joseph did. He was sold as a slave by his own brothers. After attaining a high position in Potiphar’s household, he was unjustly accused of attempted rape by Potiphar’s wife. Then he sat in jail when it took two years for the person who promised to help him remembered to follow through with his promise.
The remarkable thing about Joseph is his continual trust in God. He was not ruled by his circumstances.
Here’s the thing that kept Joseph going: He always remembered that God is faithful and somehow brings good out of bad circumstances. That’s why he could say that he was fruitful in the land of his misfortune. That’s why later on as he stood before his brothers, he was able to say that what they meant for evil God meant for good.
So can the “land of my misfortune,” living with a person who is mentally ill, actually produce fruit in my life?
You bet it can.
It can produce fruit in your life, too. We just need to focus on God and remember that He is sovereign over our lives and that He is motivated by perfect love for us.
Don’t get discouraged that the journey seems so slow at times. God is in the business of changing us into the image of Christ so we can be fruitful here and now.
After all, apples don’t grow overnight.