Monday, September 10, 2012

Devotion: Not Everybody Can be a Reuben, OR a Joseph

"So he said to [Joseph], 'Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock, and bring me word...'" Genesis 37:14

My middle son helping my husband put up a gate around my garden. 

"Hey, mom. What can I help you with?" I looked up from my garden, and with my arm, brushed my hair off my sweaty, dirt covered face. My middle child was eager, ready to get his hands dirty. I gave him a hoe and asked him to dig a trench on the other side of the garden. I had already started the trench, so all he needed to do was make it a little deeper. He got right to work, making himself also sweaty and dirty. I looked around the rest of the yard. My husband was cutting back some overgrown bushes, my daughter was dragging the cut branches to the burn pile, and my oldest son was sitting on the patio, in front of the fan, with a book. I called for him to come help me and his brother in the garden. He begrudgingly put down his novel and walked slowly over to me. After assigning different jobs to him, I finally decided maybe he should just go back to his book.I was getting frustrated that he wasn't getting knee deep in the yardwork with the rest of the family.

Lately, as I have been doing yardwork, I have been reciting the Fruit of the Spirit, praying for individual things that I need to love, be joyful about, have peace for, be patient with, be kind to, recognize the good in, be gentle with, be faithful in, and have self-control of. As I was reciting these prayers, I prayed especially to have patience with my oldest child as he decided to not join the rest of the family in yardwork. God opened my mind to the Story of Joseph in Genesis 37. I was reminded of Joseph's character. Out of all the boys in that family, Joseph was more of the manager while the rest of his brothers were the ones who did all the grunt work. Their anger at Joseph not helping in the fields and jealously of Joseph's position with their father lead them to plot against him. They were upset that he was different from them. As a result,...

God was gently reminding me that not all of us
 are created the same. 

My oldest son is my bookworm. He LOVES to learn things, to read, and to join in on intelligent conversations. He is my Joseph [literally and figuratively]. My middle child was the physical one. He loved working on the car with my husband. He gets right in the middle of the yardwork with me and helps, doing some pretty tough stuff. He is my Reuben, the oldest brother of Joseph, and the one with the soft heart. As I started thinking of my children in that way, instead of being upset with my oldest son for not helping out, I have to remember that not everyone is cut out for yardwork. Does he work hard at other things? Absolutely. He does his chores exceptionally well. His grades are always commendable. I can always count on him to join in on a conversation and actually contribute well. 

And thank the Lord we are all different. What a boring world this would be if we were all the same. It is my job, not only as a mom, but as a believer, to recognize those differences in those around me and to celebrate in how he has made each of us special. Recognize the manager-book reading Josephs in your life as well physical, hard-working Reubens. They each have a part and a purpose. 

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