God Can Use the People in the Margins…

by Brenda on

Start in Genesis 37, and go read the story of Joseph (if you haven’t done your daily Bible reading already). Man, this guy was IN THE MARGINS!

Joseph was loved more by his father, but his brothers? They hated him. See, he was one of 2 sons born to their father’s favorite wife (yes, his dad had 2 wives–messy family!), and they knew that their father loved him more. Can you imagine what that felt like for him? He spent the most time with his brothers, working alongside them in the fields, and they hated him. He had a dream that they would serve him, and the Bible says that they hated him even more.

Was he hated because of things he did or chose, or because of who he was? Partially it was just because of who he was. Partially it was because of what someone else–his father–did. Partially it was because God called him out to be different (nobody else was having those dreams). And partially, maybe, because he spoke about the dreams that God gave him? Maybe that should’ve been between him & God? I don’t know.

His brothers hated him so much that they wanted to kill him. That’s kind of a big deal. While I’m not even in the first 100 people on the wedding guest list for pretty much anyone, I for am pretty certain nobody has ever wanted to kill me. That’s a whole different kind of in the margins. There is nothing Joseph could do to try to fit in.

  • He couldn’t try to wear cooler clothes. (Ahem. He did have the coolest coat, and it only made them hate him more).
  • He couldn’t invite them over to a big party and make them like him more. (He did invite them all to listen to his dreams…that didn’t work out).
  • He couldn’t work on his coolness, his fitting in ability, his influence, his ability to win friends, and change anything about what his brothers thought…He would’ve worked fruitlessly and probably would have made himself more depressed.

SO, in spite of anything he might have done to try to make his brothers like him, they just didn’t. Ouch. Painful.

They did contemplate killing him, and then they sold him. And then he ended up in prison when he didn’t do anything to deserve it. Can you imagine how he felt? So depressed. So in despair. So lonely and sad. No best friend. No buddy to call to get him through. Nobody on his side.

The encouraging part about this story is that God used Joseph. God gave Joseph the gift of interpreting other people’s dreams. Eventually, that gift got him out of prison and working in a pretty important position for Pharaoh.

And those brothers of Joseph’s? God used Joseph to totally bless them, keep them alive, keep his family line going, and to move them all to Egypt.

I don’t know if Joseph ever felt totally accepted by his brothers, or like he was “in” with them. Maybe he never did. Maybe he always felt like he was in the margins, even as God used him to totally change the trajectory of their lives. But still, Joseph was an important person in God’s plan…

This is hopeful for me, and makes me think a few things:

  • Maybe being ok with sitting in the margins is a good thing?
  • Maybe not being “in” sets us aside to do something great?
  • Maybe God will use those hurts, those pains, those “I’m left out again” feelings to bless other people?

Just something to think about today! I really encourage you to read the whole story of Joseph’s life! Be blessed!

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