Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Looking in the Wrong Place

One of the Bible characters that resonates most deeply with me is Leah. I often wonder what it would be like to be Leah. Leah, who longed so desperately to be loved by Jacob. Leah, who couldn't measure up to the beauty of her sister. Leah, who was cruelly given by her father to a man who didn't love her. Leah, whose husband passionately loved her younger sister.

Poor, poor Leah.

Leah was looking for love, but she wasn't looking in the right place. In the account in Genesis 29, it says that the Lord SAW that she was not loved and gave her four children. The God of all the universe looked down at Leah and saw her.  After the birth of her first son, Leah thinks, Surely my husband will love me now. Again, after the birth of the third, Leah thinks finally, finally, Jacob will love her.  But alas, Leah is still searching for love in the wrong place.

It isn't until her fourth son, Judah, that Leah realizes that she is looking for the wrong love: This time, I will praise the Lord, she says. And finally, she gets it. Jacob might not love her (yet) but God did.  Finally, finally, she can be full. 

However, there is a happy ending. I think, as evidenced by the fact that Jacob was buried beside Leah and not Rachel, that Jacob finally learned to love Leah. Maybe not because of her beauty and charm, but because she had become full of the Lord.  In that place where the godly couples Abraham and Sarah and Isaac and Rebekah were buried, so Jacob chose to be buried beside Leah.

As humans, we look for love. We desire to be filled, to be whole. I think God made us like that to learn to yearn for Him. Only the love of our Father can truly fill us and make us whole. Only when we are first filled with God can we truly accept and receive love from others. For years, we may be searching for "The One," but there is only One who makes us complete. So if you are desperately desiring to be loved, know that that love can be found. It's not in the man of your dreams, it's in the arms of your Father in Heaven. He sees your heart, just as He saw Leah's.

Run to Him. 

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:9-16

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