Sow & Gather

Who Can Fix My Misery?

Women of the BibleMarci AnthonyComment

When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. Genesis 29:31 

Have you had a season in your life when the only word you could use to describe it is MISERY?  I have had a few of those.  Seasons when my soul was completely fragile, my tears were but a moment away from falling and time seemed to stand still.  If you have ever found yourself in such a place as I have, let this story of a woman in the Bible bring you incredible comfort. 

Let me set the stage:  Once there were two sisters, Rachel and Leah.  A young man named Jacob deeply desired to marry Rachel, the beautiful sister.  Leaving out many details, let me just say that when Jacob asked Rachel’s father, Laban, for her hand in marriage, he was told that he would have to work for 7 years to receive her. (All I can think is that this girl must have been something amazing to look at!).  Jacob worked the 7 years and then was tricked into marrying the “other” sister, Leah.  As I read this account in the book of Genesis, my heart breaks as I read of how incredibly unloved that Leah must have felt.  Jacob did work another 7 years and was allowed to marry Rachel, his dream.  Precious Leah then found herself married to a man that she knew didn’t love her…MISERY! 

We then stumble upon these verses: 

When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.” 

She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon. 

Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi. 

She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children. Genesis 29:31-35 

Does this story bring tears to your eyes as it does mine?  Here we have a women right in the middle of a season of misery!  I am so grateful to God that He gave us this ever so small account so that we could learn the following. 

 The Lord sees us in our pain and He has not forsaken us.  God saw Leah.  He saw her misery of being unloved and He gave her a child.  It is interesting to me that He did not speak audibly to her, He did not give a sign across the sky, but He simply moved in her life to encourage her. 

In our misery, we will never find complete happiness in our circumstance.  The saddest sentence in the story is, “Surely my husband will love me now.”  While Leah recognized God’s love for her, she believed that her misery would somehow end if only her husband loved her.  I am convicted by that statement as I reflect back on times of pain.  Our thoughts many times lead us to thinking that acceptance of a person, a change in circumstance or a need met, will be the answer to our pain. 

Only worshiping God will bring complete and total inner contentment and peace. After 4 children, (which had to be at least 3 ½ years) Leah finally utters the words, “This time I will praise the Lord.” She understood, after all of that time, that God was the giver of the gift of her children and that no man would give her the happiness she desired. 

Talk about a beautiful story.  If today is miserable, run FROM desiring others to help you and run TO the God of the universe!

Digging Deeper |

Read the whole chapter of Genesis 29.  As you read, write down all of the circumstances surrounding Leah’s plight in life.  Then, read Ephesians 3:14-19.  God loves you so!

Prayer |

Dear Lord, thank you for the story of Leah.  Thank you for the reminder that you see me in my happiness and my pain.  Lord, show me how and where you are working in my life.  Lord, give me the courage to rely only on you and to resist the urge to desire the approval of others.  Today, Lord give me your peace, your joy and your contentment.  Amen.

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