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.
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.
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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