Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Forgetting to Remember...

Is it possible to be both blessed and cursed simultaneously? Apparently it is. Consider the plight of Joseph. His brothers sold him to Ishmaelite traders who then sold him to Potiphar, an Egyptian officer, and although he probably felt "cursed" to have been sold by his own flesh and blood, take a look at what Genesis 39:2 says:

The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.

Today's passage, Genesis 38 through 40, offers several examples of Joseph's life's dilemmas. Because he was very handsome and well respected, Potiphar's wife decided that he was too appealing to resist. After several unsuccessful attempts at seducing him, she falsely accused him of trying to rape her. In turn, Joseph was thrown into prison for a crime he didn't commit, which must have felt like yet another curse.

Despite the way things seemed, God was still with Joseph--blessing and favoring him. During his unfair confinement, God allowed him to interpret the disturbing dreams of two of Pharaoh's imprisoned servants. He asked nothing in return except that the cup-bearer mention his situation to Pharaoh once he was released. Not too much to ask, I'd say, but what did the cup-bearer do? He promptly forgot his promise after being released.

I have been that cup-bearer--so quick to forget my promise to remember.

Early in my Christian experience when someone asked me to pray for (or remember) them, I always said I would, but the truth is, sometimes, I forgot. And that haunted me days, weeks, or years later when the specific situation was again brought to my attention. Recognizing my tendency to forget prompted me to institute a personal policy that I try to maintain to this day. When someone asks me to remember them in prayer, I pray immediately. Usually, I will ask if we can pray together, but if that doesn't seem appropriate for any reason, I pray as soon as possible.

This seems to serve me two ways. The first is that my conscience is clear that I've kept my promise, and second, I've discovered that I'm more likely to remember to continue to pray for the need or situation having already prayed once.

It's fairly easy to play the role of caring Christian, but it's more challenging to actually be one. Prayerfully remembering the needs of others is an important and reasonably light cup to bear, so Lord, please fill my cup until it overflows with the generous wine of your loving compassion, and if you will, add a spoonful of faithful remembering for good measure.


  1. Hey Sandy, what a great idea! I did a read thru the Bible a couple of years ago and stuck to it most of the time...sometimes LIFE happens and there is not the time to read LONG passages! Anyway, one question...you said you were reading through historically, do you mean straight through from Genesis to Revelation or as things happened in history? I have been looking for a Bible that was in historical order (as things happened in history) and wondered what you were using.

  2. Thanks for the response Sandy! I am joining probably the first of February. We are doing the Esther study at church too so I hope I don't get too confused! Love you and thanks for the encouragement!