«And the name of the second he called Ephraim: ‘For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction’ » (Genesis 41:52).
I WAS LOOKING at a beautiful apple tree. I do not know why it captivated my senses so much. My eyes seemed to leap from one branch to another and I was delighted by so many rosy and reddish fruits. I had never seen such a spectacle in nature. The colorful flowers were mixed with the dense, refreshing leaves. There were countless fruits; I bit into one of them. The experience brought something to my mind that I had read some time before and that had seemed very interesting to me.
There is a tree in Bahrain that they call the «Tree of Life,» found in the middle of the Arabian Desert. Surrounded by miles and miles of sand, there it is this wonder of nature, this intensely green tree with long branches that touch the ground, having a strong, old trunk. It is more than four hundred years old and is still standing. Where does it get its moisture from? It is not very clear. It receives more than fifty thousand tourists every year who want to see how life can grow in the middle of nowhere, without a source of water nearby and without being watered.
Just as it is surprising to see an enormous green tree in the middle of a desert, it is surprising that a slave could be elevated to the level of prince of Egypt, that the sadness of a prison cell could be transformed into marvelous freedom, that the memory of forced labor could be renewed by the joy of motivated productivity, and that the loneliness of a mournful heart could be satisfied with unlimited splendor. That was the case of Joseph, and for that reason, he gave his second son the name «Ephraim,» which means «double fruitfulness.» This name reflects the abundance of joy and gratitude that there was in Joseph’s heart toward the God of heaven, who had given him, a former slave, a position of authority and two wonderful children.
Dear friend, if you live in the midst of gloom because you have lost everything; if you are walking in lands of sorrow because you will never be able to see a child again; if you are going through an overwhelming trial in your life right now, remember Joseph. Just like this man of God, you too can «be fruitful in the land of [your] affliction» (Genesis 41:52). In that desert that only seems to have sand and aridity, you will see a leafy tree rooted in the Lord. That tree is you, a modern woman of God.