An ornament was sent in the mail yesterday to Dave & I. The note attached was as follows:
A few months ago, I read Carol Kent's book Now I Lay my Isaac Down. She is a reatreat speaker & author whose ony child is in prison for life for murder. In other words, she has experienced a great deal ofsuffering. At one of her speaking engagements, she was presented with a beautiful bracelet with tiny silver squares, spelling out the name "Ephraim." Here is the explanation she was given:
In Genesis, Joseph is naming one of his sons: The second son he named Ephraim and he said, "It is because God has me me fruitful in the land of my suffering." In Hebrew, Ephraim means "double fruit." The Lord used the name Ephraim as a reminder that a person can be fruitful in suffering.
In Genesis 48 Joseph brings his two sons, Manassah & Ephraim, to his father, Jacob so he can bless them before he dies. Joseph carefully positionos his sons beside Jacob so the the firstborn, Manasseh, will be blessed above the second-born son, Ephraim. But something surprising happens: Jacob crossed his arms and deliberately puts his right hand on the younger boy's head. Why would Jacob go against tradition and bless Ephraim above Manassah, which means, "It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household." Maybe it's because getting over a painful past is a wonderful accomplishment, but producing fruit in the midst of pain is a miraculous event. Being fruitful in suffering, being an "Ephraim," gives glory to God --who alone can give the grace-filled capacity to face the unthinkable and be fruitful in the unimaginable.
The bold comment is my hearts desire. Pray that Dave & I will continue (with God's help) to be fruitful in the midst of the trial & give ALL glory to God in this trial. I realize the worst is to come. Treatment will be the ultimate test this coming year.
Thank you to Karen for sending the note & cherished ornament. I look forward to the reminder every Christmas as I put it on the tree. What a great note to share with the older boys today during Stuart's nap.
What does it mean to be fruitful? Kate