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Leah’s Pain Leah Gain PART 11

When  pain, comparing yourself with others, school, work, marriage, hopes, maybe church relationship, or life in general behave un-explainable ways, what is your response?

Personal unmet desires might even write our own story.

How did Leah respond to her circumstances , her pain. Her own emotions for the man she cared for were taken advantage of by her own father into a deceitful maneuver in exchange for seven more years of work.  The beautiful sister always received the  delighted eyes of the man Leah loved. 

God has not forgotten Leah. The answer to  her cry ultimately releases her inner pain. Her choice also has an eternal gain greater than Leah could hope for.

Walk deeper into Leah’s life. Is Leah’s choice talking to you?

    ” This pain is deeper than before”, Leah remarks to herself  while spinning wool to repair a blanket. Memories of this tent come flooding back. Two years ago, in a  drunken stupor, Jacob made Leah his wife. Not in love but through deception. Each time Leah receives a look from Jacob, she feels hatred. She believes it reflects un-forgiveness  for being part of a cruel plot with her father.

Rachel and Jacob tenderly still share the same affection as their first day of marriage. Leah feels as a shadow in the tent whose only need is to keep things clean and tidy.

“Please look at me Jacob with the same heart, the same delight the same enjoyment as when you look at Rachel. I can make you laugh. I can give you joy. Give me a chance.”

God hears Leah’s cry.

31 When Yahweh saw Leah was unloved, he made it possible for her to have children, but Rachel had none. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben [Here’s My Son], because she said, “Certainly, Yahweh has seen my misery; now my husband will love me!   Genesis 29 NOG

 

Leah  cries out in bearing the first born, opening her  womb. Although never experiencing anything this painful before,  but it is not the focal point of her mind.  With tears, she welcomes this son as a gift to Jacob.

“Here Jacob, Love Me!!! Here’s My Son. Surely I have a tender place in your heart now.”  Leah hold this first born as an offering to Jacob.” Please, love me”, is her plea..

Jacob swells with pride as he holds his first born son.

Jacob’s response to Leah?.  Leah who?

 

33 She became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She said, “Certainly, Yahweh has heard that I’m unloved, and he also has given me this son.” So she named him Simeon [Hearing]  Genesis 29 NOG

 

 

Oh the pain of this second birth Ahhhhhh. Leah cries out  hard. Women surrouding to help bring this baby into the world. Upon his entry, Leah declares, this one is more difficult so the prize must be worth it. Simeon is very beautiful . Surely Jacob will know I can bring joy to his life now.

Have things changed?

“Don’t I  Exist?”  These words explode inside. “Will  I  forever go unnoticed as my sons are taken from me as well?” Leah exclaims .  The three males in her life are playing a game outside.  Jacob’s loud laughter booms.  Leah hears the joy and sees the playtime but goes unnoticed while still spinning yarn.     “Yahweh, please turn Jacob’s heart to me”.

The enjoyment with her boys is over.  Jacob’s eyes light up even more when Rachel opens the flaps of the tent. He grabs her hand. They run to the hills like young does. Giggling follows. Leah weeps.

 34 She became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me because I’ve given him three sons.” So she named him Levi [Attached].  Genesis 29 NOG

This easy birth released a fine boy. Still clinging to the hope her salvation to Jacob comes  through children,  Leah believes Jacob will finally yearn to become attached to her.

Jacob proudly starts bringing Reuben and Simeon his work.” These are my sons” Jacob shows the two eldest the beginning in caring for the sheep. In the evening, Jacob returns and  gently rubs the head of Levi who is navigating small movements for his first steps. Nothing has changed. The boys bring Jacob delight. Rachel brings Jacob delight.

Leah is empty with no delight.

35 She became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She said, “This time I will praise Yahweh.” So she named him Judah [Praise]. Then she stopped having children.  Genesis 29 NOG

 

Used, Imperfect and Unloved!   Leah could not draw delight from a man. Leah declares “This time I will Praise GOD.”

Judah is a son having far reaching blessings.

Who is Judah?

 Matthew 1 1-17,  and Luke 3: 23-34 state the lineage of Jesus. Jesus goes to David who goes to Jacob who fathered Judah.  This is the child Leah declares in finding her fulfillment :I will Praise God. .

Another expression of eternal gain not only for Leah but for the world is mentioned in Revelation.

“Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals. Revelation.  5:5. NIV

   From the used, imperfect and unloved, God chose to draw His Son, our salvation. Leah made the choice:

      I WILL PRAISE HIM!

What response will come from you, from  me?

You may ask if Leah had a wonderful life after that? The opportunity to experience life differently is always a day to day choice. Which path to take for a fulfilled story is your exciting freedom.   How will you write your story?

Please feel free to comment where you  experienced the world’s standard placing  you in a box for joy. Have you accepted that box for your story?

Have you walked in victories by opening your hand to say :I Will Praise Him?

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Leah’s Pain Leah’s Gain

 

Life is terribly unpredictable.  Don’t you agree?  We come into this world with a clean slate. Nothing written on any page. Feelings of expectation, wonder and  amazement circling inside. If surrounded by friends, family, and relatives where this vision is not only understood, but encouraged, the life we walk out can be filled with  beauty and joy.

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What if that is not the case? What if as the years begin to form in front of you, life takes turns in ways  you didn’t expect? Circumstances happen you do not ask for.

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Walk a bit with Leah from the Old Testament.

Widowed Laban is a shepherd with two daughters,  Dull-eyed Leah and Drop Dead Gorgeous Rachel. Of course Laban welcomes Jacob into their family with open arms. A kinsman, strong, hard working, and completely taken with Rachel, the youngest.  Laban knows he gains a great prize with Jacob as a laborer and son-in-law. One day as the sheep are grazing,  Laban’s brown eyes scans the horizon. His hand strokes the graying beard as he ponders how to solve a dilemma.

   I have two daughters. Jacob is taken with my youngest, but the law requires the eldest wed first. Laban snaps his fingers as an idea pops into his head.   That’s it.  That is exactly what  I will do.

Very pleased with himself, Laban returns to his sheep as the sun is departing  the sky.

After seven years of hard service the chosen day arrives. The celebration is beyond expectations. The wine flows freely. Men slap one another heartily on the back, shouting salutations for Jacob and his bride. Laban’s voice booms over everyone.  Jacob drinks with no limits looking forward to spending an intense wedding week with the love of his life.

Finally, in a  drunken stupor the men make their way to the special tent. Swaying and singing loudly Laban and Jacob lean on each other. Other men from the party assist these two making sure Jacob makes it to his destination. Pushing back the heavy drapes of the opening,   Jacob’s blurry eyes behold his intended.

Shyly waiting for her husband is a woman, completely hidden beneath  her beautiful wedding attire. Modesty and custom requires her entire body  covered until the couple are fully husband and wife.

A halfhearted  blessing from the inebriated father gives the official permission for the matrimonial ceremony to begin. Laban swaggers from the tent.  The consummation takes place.  Jacob turns over pleased. Exhausted  from too much wine, he quickly falls asleep. Leah weeps softly into the pillows while Jacob snore.

The sun rises. A beautiful day begins. Fluffy clouds float across the sky. Faint sounds  of bleating sheep heading to the hillside for food and drink can be heard.   Jacob stretches, turning slowly  expecting to look into the deep brown eyes of Rachel.  Instead, the milky complexion and watery eyes of Leah meets his surprised glare.  Jacob grabs his tunic, angrily leaving the tent in search of Laban.
Empty of heart and mind,  Leah sits up . The look of utter disappointment on  Jacob’s face  discovering last night’s companion is not the delight of his life but rather the dull eyed Leah tears her apart. Rejection, fear of being hated, Pain.

Leah views the remains of what took place the night before. Normally, ruffled sheets the morning after a wedding night bring a smile or at least a giggle. To Leah  misery, thoughts of deceit and being used are all she sees. Leah feels pain. Her response is normal Leah. She ex changes her wedding clothes for a work tunic to tidy up the tent.
LABAN”, Jacob roars  as he sweeps through the camp. The entire hillside hears this booming voice. “We NEED TO TALK- NOW”.
The verbal explosion causes Jacob to remember the amount of wine he had the previous evening as he grabs his aching head.

Laban solves his “problem” by deceiving  Jacob into marrying Leah first following the seven years of work.  After concluding the required wedding week ceremony, Jacob could marry Rachel. Laban’s stipulation is another seven years of service from Jacob. Everyone wins . Laban gets seven more years of work from Jacob.  Jacob marries Rachel anyway.  Rachel gets married to the man she loves.

 

Wait a minute!!! Everyone wins?  What about Leah?  Leah really loves Jacob. Isn’t she worth his love? It  is not her fault she was born below par compared to her sister. It was not her fault her own father uses deception to gain labor from Jacob just to get her married off.

With the pain of rejection, comparison, use in deception, Leah probably wondered what the value of her life could be in the first place.?

Have you ever felt everything in the world so unjust that you cried out to God : PLEASE, CHANGE MY LIFE! CHANGE ME!!!

Does it seem as though God completely forgot about this woman? Do you think He has forgotten about you?

No-God has created all of us with a wonderful purpose in mind.

My next blog will answer  how Leah’s hopes and dreams were answered.

What the world labels “imperfection” comes perfection.

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