Outside the Margins

Every feel marginalized?  Ever feel set aside?  I have.

Back in high school, I remember desperately wanting to play varsity volleyball.  I played in a different league during the off-season to build my skills.  I strove to be one of the best and earn a letter, do cool spikes and stuff.  But I wasn’t good enough, and possibly never would be.  My vertically-challenged status didn’t help, either.  I was a terrible blocker.

Looking at biblical examples, the prophet Samuel anointed David as king when David was around 15 years of age.  He was the youngest of 7 brothers.  He had nothing to commend him except his great faith in God and bravery in killing off predatory animals bent on eating his family’s sheep. It was enough.

However, it wasn’t until he was 30 years of age that his tribe, Judah, crowned him king.  Did I mention the other tribes did not agree with Samuel or God on this?  He didn’t become king over all the tribes until he turned 40.  Forty years old!  That’s a long time to eat humble pie, to wait and watch and be gracious and kind.  Ugh.  I don’t think I have that patience in me.

Let’s touch on Deborah.  In the time of the judges, before kings, she was appointed judge over all Israel.  The Bible says God found no man righteous enough to perform the task. Ouch!  Imagine the discrimination she endured.  Picture Deborah minding her own business, doing all the wifely things – cooking, cleaning, child-rearing, sewing clothes, pounding those same clothes with rocks down by the river – and suddenly, she’s God’s anointed.  Bet that went down with the Israelites like a sip of glass shards.

Look at Jesus.  He was born to an unknown girl, Mary, who put up with scorn and shame in order to birth the Messiah. Joseph, taking on a “soiled” woman as his wife, knowing he’d always play second fiddle to The Almighty as father.  And Jesus Himself, born in obscurity in a stable,  and rejected by his people.  He did some major miracles, invested in a dozen disciples, healed the sick and lame and yet was crucified for doing the Father’s will.  Talk about marginalization!  Man.

All of these fine biblical folks help me gain perspective.  These examples, especially thinking of Jesus, give me hope. Jesus rose again on the third day, just as He knew He would.  If I am about my Father’s business, does it matter what anyone else has to say about it?  He will keep me. He will guide me.

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