What if God could help you forget? What if you don’t have to carry this pain with you into your future? What if your wounds could be completely healed and every ounce of hurt redeemed? What if you don’t have to replay the story one more time? What if all that happened to you in the past, all the wrong that was done, all the harm inflicted, what if God could help you just forget it?
Would you want to? Would you be willing to receive that level of healing?
There’s a story in the bible of that level of healing from past hurts. And, Sis, it’s recorded in the Bible because God wants us to know of his power then that’s still available now! I believe today God is asking if you’re ready to forget. Are you ready to be completely healed from that hurt? Are you ready for total restoration of what happened in the past?
Some aren’t ready. Some simply aren’t ready to let go of the story. Some aren’t ready to turn over the hurt. Some want to hold on to that suitcase of packed up pain and drag it around into every new season of life that comes. There’s no judgement here. That’s what pain makes us do. It makes us carry baggage that weighs us down. It fills our hands so we aren’t available to receive anything new or different. It causes us to get stuck in the past because it’s too heavy to continue into the future. But God wants his girl HEALED! He wants your hands free.
Matthew 11: 28-30, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
To understand fully what Jesus is offering you, you must understand what a yoke is. A yoke is a curved piece of wood that fits around a large animal’s neck. This wood connects two animals, such as cows, and allows them to share a load and pull together. This harness eases the work of each animal in carrying a load. And Jesus is saying, let’s connect. Let me help you carry this burden. I will make your burden light. You will not get stuck here. Together, we will move forward.
You are not meant to carry this burden, my sister. This pain you feel is too heavy. This story that hurts you cannot continue to replay. You will get stuck here. You will lose your joy here. You will become a shell of the vibrant person God created you to be. So, God wants you to know about Manasseh.
Yes, that’s your answer here. Manasseh.
Even if you don’t yet know what that word means, can’t you feel the effects of it over your burdened spirit? Manasseh.
Can’t you feel you ache of what happened and the pain of what they did lighten? Manasseh.
Manasseh over your broken heart.
Manasseh over all that wasn’t fair to you.
Manasseh over your shattered dreams.
Manasseh over what was stolen from you.
Manasseh over your deepest hurt.
What does Manasseh mean? To understand fully, you must first remember the story of Joseph. Joseph was the highly favored son of Jacob, but the despised one of his jealous brothers. Joseph’s brothers took him out to kill him, and ended up selling him into slavery. This started a series of the most unfortunate events for Joseph. One thing after another happened to Joseph that was totally unfair. He was a slave, then he was a prisoner. He was accused of doing things he didn’t do. He was used. He was forgotten. For over 20 years, Joseph was punished for things he didn’t do, and it all started with his jealous brothers.
But, through it all, Joseph remained faithful. No matter how unfair his circumstance were, he trusted God. Genesis 39:3, “His master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did.” God was with him through it all. Even in the pit. Even in the prison. All the way to the palace, God was with him.
Joseph becomes a powerful man, second in charge of all of Egypt. His trust in God in all the unfair places led him to great success. But imagine the hurt he still carried. All the people, his own family, that had betrayed him. People he loved. People he trusted. They had hurt him. It was still there, replaying in his mind. He had to ask why. Why did his brothers do this to him? Why did every friend he make turn on him and use him? Why was he continually punished for things he didn’t do?
But, here’s what God did for him … he made him forget.
God blessed Joseph with a son. That’s son’s name was Manasseh. Manasseh, in Hebrew means to forget.
Genesis 41:51, “Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.”
God has made me forget all my trouble. All that has happened in the past. All that pain. All that hurt. All that was unfair. God just took it from me. He healed me. He healed my heart and he healed my mind. The memories no longer torment me. The stories no longer play on a perpetual loop. All that was intended for harm has been turned for good.
Years later, a drought and famine in Egypt caused extreme hardship. There was no food left in the land. But the Lord had told Joseph in advance, so he could collect food and prepare. One day, his brothers, the ones who had betrayed him and hurt him the most, the ones who had started the 20 years of total chaos in Joseph’s life, showed up begging for food. They didn’t know it was their brother. They assumed he had died. But he hadn’t died. He had gone through slavery. He had gone through prison. He had gone through abandonment and punishment, and now he stood before them in authority. And Joseph spoke these words over his abusers, over the ones who neglected him, over the ones who had hurt him most, he said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20)
How could Joseph not have bitterness toward his brothers? How could he not hate his abusers? How could he have even an ounce of compassion on those who brought such harm into his life? MANASSEH. “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.”
Joseph was no longer telling the same old story of hurt. He had shut that down and God had taken that burden. What happened to him in the past no longer hurt him. There was no limit on his future because of the pain he had been through before. Manasseh, God helping him forget, opened his eyes to God using everything for good now. And when Joseph’s eyes were opened to the good God was doing, he was used for that good!
And my sister, this is what God wants to do for you. He wants to help you forget. He wants to put an end to the story on a perpetual loop replaying in your mind. He wants to heal your brokenness and use it for good. He wants to give you your Manasseh.
Will you dare to receive it? Will you be so bold as to ask God to help you forget? Forgetting doesn’t erase it and make it okay. Forgetting releases you from the grip of what has been done before and frees you to step into all God wants to do now. Forgetting lifts the burden.
Lord, help her to forget. Help her to heal completely. Everything that was unfair. Everything that was painful. Everything that has hurt her. Help her to release, forget, heal. Help her to receive the fullness of your good plans without an ounce of past hurt holding her back from her future!
Can he do it? Oh yes he can!
(There’s a song called Manasseh by Anna Golden, and the story behind the song inspired today’s devotional. Thank you to our beautiful podcast listener, Lauren, for sharing that with me.)
I pray the lyrics of Manasseh over you:
The innocence that’s stolen
The years I thought were taken
You’re rebuilding every broken home inside my heart
And You made it all better
This is my Manasseh
You’ve caused me to forget
Your goodness washes over all the pain of my past
This is my Manasseh
You’ve caused me to forgive
In all my broken places You’re rewriting what’s been written
Thank You for Manasseh
It’s a new season
There’s a new freedom
All I thought was lost
You found and made it better
Glory to glory
Joy for my mourning
There is nothing wasted
You work it all together
I can let it all go
I let it all go
You can take it from here