On Monday, I was reading about Joseph, the bible figure who inspired the musical with his multi-coloured coat! He was loved the most out of his brothers, any parent knows that you shouldn’t have favourites, and even if you do, you certainly shouldn’t make it obvious! But, if you read the whole story you will realise that he was a middle-child.
I am also a middle child, I have 2 older siblings and 1 younger. Whenever I am in a discussion about families etc. I usually joke about having “middle-child syndrome“. I know that I have had a better childhood than others, there are people that I know who have had a “worse deal” than me when it comes to childhood, so I am not expecting the “tiny violins of sympathy” but it is interesting that most middle children have the same attributes, they are generally:-
- Deep thinkers.
- More aware of others feelings.
- of low self-esteem.
For me, the fact that the family dinner table was generally a noisy affair with us all trying to be heard and someone generally would be unsuccessful, I retreated to my own thoughts. This has been quite useful as it has trained me to be able to write/think about talks/blogs in my head during my day. Although others may call this day-dreaming!
All Joseph‘s brothers were jealous of their father’s love towards Joseph, and of the fact that God was giving him dreams that he would rule over them! Even Jacob was indignant at the idea of bowing before Joseph. The funny thing about siblings is that you are envious of each other even if you are not fully aware of it! I used to look at the wall with the certificates of degrees/diplomas that every other member of my family had got and wish I had one, I used to look at my brother and wish I was able to get a girlfriend as easily as he could. I know envy is not an attribute that is positive but can it drive your ambitions in a positive manner? Can it become aspiration, even if its “pie in the sky“?
Well for me… NO, for some reason it does my head in instead, my head whirled with ideas about “what can I do to change myself so that someone would like me enough to want to go out with me?” one piece of advice was “shave your eyebrows, me and my brother did it within days we each had a girlfriend!” (it was from a 10 year old!) As for educational or employment prospects, I kept thinking of WIBNI’s (wouldn’t it be nice if…). but if I do not feel 100% committed to the idea then I don’t put my “heart and soul” into it, I wish I knew that earlier!
Having been a Christian for at least 22 years, I unfortunately have been affected by the common feeling of being jaded by life. I have had plans of what I want to do or what I felt God wanted me to do and when it hasn’t occurred in the time period that I was thinking of (i.e. pretty quickly) I find myself confused and once again thinking what am I doing with my life!
Joseph had a similar experience, he imagined that at some point that he would be ruling over his family, then he gets sold as a slave and made to serve, this must have taught him humility. But then someone tells a lie about him and he is imprisoned, he must have wondered “what on earth is God doing with me?”!
After Joseph’s perfect explanation of the Pharaoh’s dreams, he ends up being given a massive responsibility, he becomes 2nd in command! His brothers come to him and bow down (not realising it is Joseph). So what does this teach us/me?
- God’s timing is perfect- just because what you thought was going to happen/had prophesied over you isn’t happening now, it doesn’t mean it won’t! If you stop struggling and “cast your burdens onto Jesus“, at the right time, the right thing will happen!
- God’s wisdom is perfect- He knows what you need, that relationship/job/course may seem perfect/desirable but if it will not help you in the long run, then it won’t happen!
- God wants the best for you- He doesn’t want you to have the mediocre! When I took my AS levels my results were shocking! This was partly my fault, but when I retook them I aced a test!
- Although you may look at your friend/brother/sister/colleague and think “their life is great I wish I had…”, more than likely they are thinking something similar about you!