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It Takes More Than Almonds

Updated: May 4

Promoting Emotional Healing and Mental Health Due to Trauma in Dysfunctional Families

The Word of God is a fruitful, flourishing, and nourishing almond tree during our driest seasons. It is filled with all the nutrients needed to survive the uncertain and cruel elements that haunt our experiences in this life! It is a reservoir of promises... a deep well that never runs dry. It is a fountain that rejuvenates our physical, mental, and spiritual health when fatigued by life's inevitable challenges. We may eat and drink God's Word confidently knowing He is faithful, consistent, true, and amazingly good!

In our introduction to this series, we talked about The Scripture being an Almond Heaven! Today we will tap into our first take-away which will help us to become even more confident in the Word as a treasure chest of edifying, comforting, and uplifting goodies!

Let's enter from a Biblical Perspective:

"And their father Israel said unto them, if it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds:" Genesis 43:11 KJV

What is the backdrop behind this verse? Jacob fathered twelve sons of which one was his favorite, Joseph. He was the first child from Jacob's relationship with his first love, Rachel. All the other brothers knew it and resented him, even though he was not to be blamed. They were jealous, except for Benjamin who was too young to understand what was happening. Plus he was a close runner-up and received his fair share of Jacob's love and attention.

I like how the Bible keeps things real! It doesn't gloss over the dysfunctional home life that is often hidden in "Christian" homes. This was mentally devastating as the older boys felt they could never quite measure up. They only saw their worthlessness in their father's eyes, while they would have had a healthier perspective if they could see their amazing value in the eyes of their heavenly Father. If only Leah, who knew she was a default wife, along with the other mothers, had sought to point their children to the promise in Psalm 27:10.

"When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up."

Many broken men and women need these words today. In which of the following categories do you find yourself? Are you...

  1. the father or mother who has not realized that your open and thoughtless favoritism has caused deep wounds within your child(ren)?

  2. a child/adult who holds undeserving resentment towards your sibling (s)?

  3. the child/adult who has low esteem because you feel worthless no matter how you attempt to make your parent(s) notice your worth?

  4. the wife/ husband who feels like a second choice like Leah? Are you emotionally hurt because your spouse still undervalues you?

  5. the clueless child/adult caught in the middle of the drama, and no matter how you try to make things right, everything you say or do fuels more sibling resentment?

Don't worry. There is still hope for healing if you don't allow your faith to fail. Keep hoping for better things, AND do your part every day to repair the family/breach. When your strength is gone, God will continue His part faithfully. "The LORD will take [you] up."

The word "take" in Hebrew is asaph which means to gather or remove to comfort and uplift.

Take Away #1:

God wants you to know that at times when earthly ties seem futile and when those who you love don't show up, for whatever reason, when you need them the most, He will gather you into His strong, powerful, caring arms. He is more than enough to erase our mistakes, insecurities, anger, resentment, and pain.

Let's get back to the narrative. Joseph's brothers resorted to evil plots of premeditative murder, slave trafficking, and deception to resolve their internal hurt and anger.

Genesis 37. They wanted to spite their father for their emotional ill-treatment. They thought that with Joseph out of the way, everything would be "a-okay!" But they didn't think of how much the loss would break Jacob's heart. They didn't count on Joseph being promoted in slavery to be the prime minister of Egypt, second only to Pharoah. They also didn't foresee the famine that would force them to leave their comfort zones to go to Egypt to purchase needed food at Joseph's mercy. Genesis 41.

Take Away #2:

Things may seem to get better when we take things into our own hands, but they seldom last. Most times they only get worse. The "things" that we may be running from almost always find us. We have to stop and face our insecurities, our "demons"... our hindrances before they destroy our mental, physical, and spiritual health. At times this may mean respectfully talking to a parent(s) about your feelings. There may be denial, cluelessness, nonchalance, or genuine repentance in response to your expression, but be brave! The Lord gave me sound advice when I was 28 years old. Never be ashamed to express your love and "love needs". Your vulnerability opens the arsenal of Heaven to work on your behalf.

It may not be parents, but siblings, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a friend, or a colleague who makes you feel small or insignificant. Just keep praying for their best. I know it seems hard to do, but your healing is paramount. Too often because things do not go our way the first time, we become more angry and prevent God from working to touch the hearts of those whom we want their love most. It is hard but sometimes it takes much more than we anticipate. Rest in God, knowing that while you are resting, He is ALWAYS working to rebuild you first and then others.

"Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass."

Psalms 37:7 KJV

“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.”

Psalms 37:8 KJV

It tAKES more than almonds

I want to steer our last "take away" to refocus on our main text. "And their father Israel said unto them, if it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds:" Genesis 43:11

Take Away #3:

It took more than almonds to bring healing to Jacob's home; his older sons' hearts, and Joseph's trauma resulting from feelings of abandonment. For them, it took the best fruits in "their" vessels, a little balm, a little honey, spices, myrrh, nuts, and almonds. It also took TIME, PAIN, and FORGIVENESS.

Losing a child can be devastating and if you allow the grieving process to absorb you, you may never appreciate the beauty of your spouse or children who are alive. Jacob learned to appreciate all his sons. Genesis 42:33-38

The sons observing how Joseph's death broke their father, developed compassion and forgiveness, despite his earlier treatment. They also realized after their impulsive angry decisions so many years ago, that they were wrong to be so jealous. They had deep sorrowful regrets and repented of their evil. Genesis 42:18-23, Genesis 44.

Joseph as a teenager was coldly pushed out of his safe space by brothers whom he truly looked up to and desired their love and affection. The abandonment bothered him for years. Yet when he saw and mingled with them, he gladly put down any grudges. He treated them well and withheld nothing good that he possessed from them. The law of the Lord... the LOVE of the Lord which embraces "love for God and man" was honey in his heart. Genesis 42:24; Genesis 44-45

It is the same for you and me. It takes more than almonds to fix our hearts and homes. It takes the best fruits: our characters must be influenced by the Holy Spirit to be kind, gentle, patient, forgiving, and faithful. These fruits are balms. If applied to our wounds they will be as spices and myrrh... a sweet cleansing aroma that brings healing on multiple levels. To heal, it takes time, pain, forgiveness, and letting all hurts go. Only then will the almonds be beneficial.

Almonds are tasty, nutritious, and comforting. They add satiety to our diet, but only after eating a substantial meal. This is true also in the spiritual realm. Perhaps this devotional hit home for you. I want to lovingly remind you that only after allowing God to asaph you, gather you, heal you, comfort you, and gift you with time and forgiveness for those who hurt you... will you be deeply satisfied and be able to live a joyful, abundant life.

"O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him."

Psalms 34:8

Taste. Enjoy! Respond. Like! Share. Be encouraged!

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Mar 28
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Praise God for all the lovely GEMs you bring out! They are so comfortingand refreshing! May the Lord continue to bless 🙌🏽

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Praise God! You are so welcome! Continue praying for this ministry that we may go "above and beyond" in touching lives and leading more to Christ this year!


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