Somehow I had always felt sorry for Leah because she was the unwanted bride. Her relationships with her father, her sister, and her husband were difficult to say the least. But as I dug into the story of Leah little deeper, I found out that there was no need to be sorry for her. Leah was quite a woman of faith despite of all the rough circumstances in her life.
When the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32 And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Because the Lord has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.” 33 She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon. 34 Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will be attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi. 35 And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she called his name Judah.Then she ceased bearing. (Genesis 29:31-35, ESV)
Leah might have been the homely sister but God blessed Leah, also with children. Leah was a person of deep-rooted piety and she named all of her children with prayers. Despite of difficult circumstances she served the Lord with everything in her. She faithfully pressed on even when things were ugly. And she was blessed mightily: She was chosen to become an ancestor of Jesus. And even Jacob chose Leah in the end, he wanted to be buried next to Leah, not Rachel.
Then he commanded them and said to them, “I am to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 in the cave that is in the field at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place. 31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah— 32 the field and the cave that is in it were bought from the Hittites.” (Genesis 49: 29-32, ESV)
It is possible to serve the Lord even when things are not going our way. It is possible to thrive despite of dark circumstances. It is possible to be joyful even in the midst of hardships. Just like Leah.
Because our joy is in the Lord.
Our strength is in the Lord.
Our everything is in the Lord.
If we want to have faith like Leah, we need to surrender our wants and must-haves to Jesus. We need to lay down our expectations and desires to Jesus. And we need to start praising God in every situation.
Because life is not about smooth relationships.
It’s about serving the Lord.
Life is not about getting what we deserve or what we desire.
It’s about loving the Lord.
If we are faithful, we will be blessed. Just like Leah. If we keep on keeping on, we will be rewarded. And meanwhile we can praise the Lord! Just like Leah.
We can celebrate through the hardships. We can revel in the grace of God. Because we know our savior lives. We know God is mighty. We know God is faithful and just. We know God is great and he loves us. And we are more than welcome to bask in his grace all the days of our lives.
Forgive us for putting our wants and desires first.
Help us to have faith like Leah.
Enable us to surrender everything to you
and praise you in every situation.
Let us find deep joy in you, just like Leah.
Bless us according to your plans.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How does the story of Leah make you feel?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you keep on keeping on!