Lessons from Leah

The story of Rachel and Leah is a fascinating, yet painful tale. Rachel, the beautiful and beloved bride. Leah, the unattractive and unwanted bride. By no fault of her own, Leah was thrust into an incredibly toxic marriage to a man who didn’t want to marry her. Betrayed by her own father, Laban, and rejected by her own husband, Jacob. Leah was wounded, broken, and marred by her experiences. Yet, the life of Leah teaches us not only valuable lessons, but shows us how we too can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles in our own lives.

The most fascinating part of Leah’s story is watching her pursue Jacob’s love. In the beginning Leah thought that the key to her happiness was by getting Jacob to love her. So, Leah dedicates her life in order to EARN Jacob’s love. Leah thought by being productive (sons) that she would overcome the insecurities that plagued her mind.

Leah gives birth to Reuben, and she says “God has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now!” Yet, after her achievement, Jacob still doesn’t love her and she’s just as broken as she was before.

She then gives birth to her second son, Simeon. This time Leah says, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.” Still, nothing changes.

She conceives and gives birth to a third son, Levi. “Now,” she exclaimed, “my husband will be attached to me, because I have given him three sons.” Did it change how she felt about herself? No.

Here’s the reality, when you struggle with insecurities you will NEVER accomplish enough to overcome them. Leah’s insecurities were robbing her of her future by keeping her imprisoned to her past.

Sometimes we can feel like Leah. We think that God could never love us for who we are. We feel like we have nothing to offer Him, and that there are other people He probably loves more. He blesses them! He uses them! Meanwhile, I’m doing everything I can to get Him to notice me!

Too many believers feel as if they aren’t good enough on their own, and that they need to validate their worth through works. Like Leah, you feel physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted. Why? Because you have spent your entire life trying to prove that you are lovable.

Here’s the problem with that mentality. You will spend your entire life building a RESUME, rather than building a RELATIONSHIP.

Job was a Godly man, he woke up every day and made sacrifice for his children. He tried to EARN God’s favor for his family. Job thought, it was about his family, his resources, and his stature. But God turned Job’s world upside down to let Job understand; Job, it’s not about what you do or what you have that makes me love you. It’s because of who you are that I love you.

Leah was so hurt and broken, she couldn’t imagine Jacob loving her because in all likelihood she struggled loving herself. In the same way. some of you have been hurt so often, because you have spent your life trying to EARN love from everyone in your life. Now, that mentality has plagued your relationship with God, and you feel broken and alone, because you can’t live up to the expectations that you have created in your mind. Your RESUME will never give you the RELATIONSHIP you desire.

Leah finally learned this lesson as she gave birth to a fourth son, Judah. She cries out this time, “This time I will praise the Lord.”

This is critical. Leah stopped trying to EARN Jacob’s love, and instead CELEBRATED it. Sometimes joy is simply changing your perspective. You don’t have to EARN the love of God. He’s already given it to you. Just CELEBRATE His love.

Your worth isn’t predicated on what YOU do. Your worth is predicated on what HE did. Stop trying to earn God’s love. Accept it. Celebrate it. He loves YOU, not what you do.

Published by Joshua McElhaney

Joshua McElhaney has served over 15 years in ministry, serving as both an Assistant Pastor for over a decade, and as lead Pastor. During his time in leadership, Joshua learned many valuable lessons about leading. Using his own experiences and the troves of Biblical treasures, McElhaney has created resources that will enlighten, empower, and enable leaders across the spectrum to lead the way God has called them to lead. Joshua married Karena, his college sweetheart, in June of 2007. Together they have three beautiful children; Mayli, Jaxson, and Asher.

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