Dear Leah (1.0)
I wish you knew your worth. Then, you wouldn’t have worked so hard for your husbands love. You would have known that God was giving you sons because HE loved you, not because he wanted Jacob to love you.”
Oh, Leah. What a beautiful woman. She definitely had the touch of God on her life, but it was overlooked due to her lack of physical beauty. Some say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but even the bible touches on her physical misfortune. It's quite an amazing story to behold, and I see so much beauty when I look at her.
Leah was placed in quite a dreary situation. Her own father gave her to a man who didn't want her. She was treated like an infertile piece of property that one was tricked into owning. The bible pulls no punches, stating that Jacobs love for Rachel was more intense than his love for Leah.
I felt a deep attachment to Leah as I read her story. I think it was because I saw myself and so many other women in Leah. Naturally, Leah worked for most of her life to gain Jacob's love and attention. The bible says that each time she bore a son she would praise the Lord and say, "The Lord has seen my misery. Surely now my husband will love me." (NIV) As I read this story, there was something about Leah's perspective that jumped out at me. Leah knew that God had blessed her, but she thought it was for Jacob.
The bible does state that God saw that Leah was not loved so he opened her womb, but we also know that he has the power to change a persons heart (see Exodus 9:11-13). This proves that God wasn't blessing Leah for Jacob. God was blessing Leah for Leah. He could have easily blessed Rachel, or Bilhah, or Zilphah. But he blessed Leah. God was bestowing his own love on Leah.
Sometimes, I'm baffled by how much we misinterpret God's intentions. Especially women. We think that God is blessing us so that others will take notice and finally except us. Or we think that God's favor will finally show Sister Maple how wrong of a judgment she made about us, while God is simply showing us that HE loves us, and that HE has excepted us. That should be enough, but far too often, it's not.
When people don't respond as we imagined they would, we are often left disappointed, bitter, angry and resentful. But, the truth is, those people may never change. They may never like us, except us, or treat us the way we deserve to be treated. However, God's love remains.
So, the question still lingers. Did Leah ever comprehend this? Toward the end of Genesis chapter 29, I believe Leah had a quick, but short-lived revelation. When she bore her fourth child, she finally says, "This time, I will praise the Lord." I believe Leah found a sense of rest, and security in this divine moment. She may not have gotten what she wanted from her husband, but she had everything she needed from God.
We can learn so much through this revelatory statement. I'm glad that, for a moment, you found rest. Rest in God's love for you. You found rest in thankfulness. I'm sure that if you could speak to us today, you would tell us to find security and rest in a faithful God who is so much more intertwined and present in our lives than we'll ever know. And that he's connecting us to something far greater than ourselves.
When you spend time with the lord today, I want each of you to be completely transparent and honest. Ask the following questions. If you answer "Yes" to either of these. It's time to take an introspective look at your heart, and whose approval you're really chasing, and who's approval you already have.
1. Do I need people's approval of my blessings?
2. Do I need others (who don't even care about me) to see my happiness in order for me to be happy?