Friday, November 15, 2013

Genesis 48:13-14

"And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near unto him.
And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn."
Genesis 48:13-14

I think that it is interesting that God keeps challenging our expectations.  We get used to doing things a certain way or thinking about things in a certain way... we learn how the world works, and we start thinking that whatever way that is is somehow the "right" way.  But God shows us that he sees things differently, and breaks with tradition.  In this case, Joseph expected his father to bless his older son with richer blessings than the younger.  That was traditional.  But his father knew, even in his physical blindness, who God meant the blessing for.  Similar things happened with Nephi being chosen over Laman and Lemuel, or even Joseph being chosen to save his whole family and be in a position where his brothers would bow to him.
I think that there are a lot of assumptions that we make about the world and about ourselves that God might like us to challenge as well.  We sometimes think that we can't succeed, for many reasons.  We aren't rich enough, we aren't smart enough... or we think that we can never crawl out of the hole that we've dug for ourselves and we'll always be limited by our pasts, or our sins, or our physical realities such as sickness or limited mobility.  Maybe we think that we can't make a difference because we aren't in charge, or we aren't rich, or we aren't called by God to do so.  And yet God calls anyone with a desire to help to his work... and he provides a way for all of us to succeed and thrive.
Today, let's listen to God's advice about our lives and the future, even when it flies in the face of our previous expectations.  Let's become what he knows that we can be, and stop thinking of ourselves as any less than anyone else.  Let's strive and become and succeed and never think that it is too late or that we are too lost.  ... Let's also be humble and grateful to God, always, but never think that we are beyond hope, or that we'll never amount to anything.  Whether the oldest or the youngest, we can all become anything we want to be, with God's help.

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