For eight years I was a teacher in a Christian high school. One day, I walked into the teacher work room where two of our parent volunteers were working and talking with another teacher.
The subject? Hairstyles and the woes of finding just the right style.
You know…easy, yet flattering.
I’m still searching for mine. 🙂
As we talked, one of the volunteers lamented that she had really short and thinning hair. “But God has given me other blessings,” she said.
Sometimes in life it takes us a while to get to the point that we can honestly feel that way and see God’s blessings.
It took Leah the birth of four sons to get there.
As we saw in our reading in Genesis this week, Leah’s marriage was a series of heartaches. Her husband, Jacob, was tricked by her father into marrying her. Jacob thought he was marrying the beautiful sister, Rachel, that he had fallen in love with at first sight. (Genesis 29:17, 14, 18)
Jacob didn’t even know he was with Leah, and not Rachel, on their wedding night! I cannot imagine the torment of hearing whispered words of love…for another woman…at such a time!
Jacob went ahead and also married Rachel. Leah had to share her husband with her sister, and later two other women. Leah loved her husband in spite of the horrible situation she was compelled by her father to enter. She lived daily with the knowledge that Jacob loved Rachel, not her.
And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.
And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren. Genesis 29:30-31
Leah was hated, and yet she longed for her husband’s love. She was so excited to have a son, hoping that giving Jacob a child would cause him to grow to love her.
And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me. Genesis 29:32
However, that didn’t happen. Each time Leah conceived, she again hoped for changes in Jacob’s affection for her, only to feel rejected all over again and still hated. (Genesis 29:33-34)
By her husband.
But not by God!
The Lord saw, and heard. And the Lord blessed!
Leah did not have her husband’s love…but God gave her other blessings.
God gave her six sons and one daughter, while her sister was still barren.
Leah was the one to bear the patriarchs of the two greatest tribes of Israel—Levi (the priestly tribe) and Judah (the royal tribe) from whom Jesus descended!
Leah, not Rachel, was honored to be included in the lineage of the Messiah!
Maybe you are in a really hard place right now. Look for God’s blessings.
Maybe you don’t have a husband, and long for one. But you do have a career you enjoy and parents still living who also love you.
Maybe you are suffering with a serious health issue or disability. But you do have a loving husband who helps care for you, and children who are good to you.
Or maybe you long for children of your own. But do have a loving husband and parents and a great church family.
Or maybe your finances are distressing. But you do have your health and a loving family.
Whatever your trials and disappointments, if you look around you, there will also be many blessings as well. Especially if you are a daughter of our heavenly Father.
After many years of focusing on the desire of her heart…that her husband love her…Leah finally learned to turn her focus to God.
And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing. Genesis 29:35
Leah learned to praise God…even in the midst of her heartache. And in so doing, she received the greatest of her “other blessings” …contentment and joy in the Lord…and a closeness to Him! For it is in praise that we come into His presence and enjoy close fellowship with our Saviour. (Psalm 100:4, 16:11)
The school volunteer I mentioned earlier would have loved to have great hair, but she chose to be focused on and thankful for the good in her life rather than focused on the things she wished were different. What a testimony!
What is it that you wish were different in your life right now? Encourage yourself with the fact that God does love you and has given you “other blessings,” too.
And praise God!
Drawing nigh to Him,
LET’S TALK ABOUT IT
What in your life is giving you fits right now? Take a moment and think about your “other blessings.” What are some of them?
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