There was a period in my childhood where I struggled with feeling lonely. I had changed schools and seemed to not fit in anywhere at my new school. In fact, the one person who seemed to be my best friend ended up betraying me and hurting me deeply. It was horrible to feel friendless and I look back at what a lonely time that was for me. It was only for one school year because the next year I found some friends that I had a lot in common and began to feel like I fit in more. But some people go for years feeling unloved. The story I am reading today breaks my heart because it shows the pain that Leah felt as she was unloved by her husband. Please turn to Genesis 29:28-35.
Jacob had worked for seven years to marry Rachel and instead, Laban tricked him and gave him Leah. Jacob and Laban made another deal that he could have Rachel after the bridal week if he agreed to work another seven years for Laban. So, just think of poor Leah in this situation. She knew that Jacob had agreed to marry Rachel and I'm sure she knew that he would be unhappy to find out that he married her instead. She only had one week with her husband before he married the person he loved, so she really never had a chance to win over his affection. Verse 31 tells us that God saw that she was unloved. That verse is very heart-breaking because this was a life commitment and she was unloved. But at the same time, this verse is also beautiful because we see that God noticed and stepped in.
The one thing that is really sticking out at me this morning is where Leah staked her hope. Notice that each time a child was born, she hoped that meant that Jacob would finally love her. She thought that by giving Jacob some sons he would find her acceptable. But notice what she says after her fourth child, Judah, was born: "Now I will praise the Lord!" I wonder if her heart changed. I wonder if she realized that her husband may not love her, but God loved her. I wonder if she finally realized that it was God's love that made her complete. I wonder if it hit her that God saw her pain and was ministering to her all along. Whether or not that reality hit home with her, that reality is true. She was loved dearly by God.
This world brings us pain and sometimes we can feel all alone in our pain; however, we are not alone. We are loved by God and we are never alone. God sees our pain and He ministers to us in our pain. We may not recognize His love right away, but His love is never-ending and He is always faithful. Nothing can ever separate us from His love and we need to let that truth sink deep down in our hearts and take root. Romans 8:35 (NLT) says, "Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?" Paul answers this question in Romans 8:38 (NLT), "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." I will even add...we cannot do anything that will separate us from God's love. That is a powerful truth! You are loved by God and there is nothing in this universe that will ever stop that.
Do you feel unloved today? Do you believe that God loves you?
This post is linked with Word Filled Wednesday and iFellowship Blog Hop.