Thursday, August 25, 2011

A little on Leah...

In my quest to read the Old Testament, I am building my personal outline of who God is. I've always had a curious soul, one that has questioned things in my mind from a very early age. In my very young youth, I thought it was weird that we had to get dressed up to go to church; I didn't think God would care what we wore as long as we were there. This was back in the day when most women were frowned upon for wearing pants to church, and my daddy seldom crossed the threshold without a tie. I remember thinking at an early age that the days discussed in the creation story in Genesis were probably not days like we now experience at all. I felt like God wouldn't himself to any human-bred concept such as the 24 hour day. Basically, I found myself in a cycle of questioning things in my mind, not in a doubtful manner, but rather in a isn't there more sort of way. And that's how I approach the Scriptures...

Isn't there more? Isn't there a better way to look at things than how someone else has told me to look at them? Can't I find it for myself... form my own opinions, find my own relationship with my Maker, discover who He is in terms of how He wants to speak to me through His divine Word?

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as silver and search for it as hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:1-6

And so, as it's promised in Proverbs, God will give us what we need when we seek Him. He will help us understand when we approach the Scriptures. I'll admit that I don't get a lot of things I read, especially the first time, and that's why I read things again. And again. And sometimes again. Each time I read, something else is revealed. It's like a puzzle, yet more intricate than that of a three dimensional cardboard cutout. It's multidimensional, playing off my life and experiences, ministering to my need at the very moment I read a passage. That's why I adore reading my Bible so much, and my sincerest wish is that it would mean that much to anyone reading these words right now.

So that's why little phrases and words stick out to me. Like my reading yesterday, I saw this little obscure statement: When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb. (Gen.29:31)

I had this one little brain cell in the back of my mind that recalled the names Rachel and Leah, but I as I read the story through adult eyes, I realized, yet again, that I had been given the edited version (and for incredibly obvious reasons). The short version is that Jacob wanted to marry Rachel, Laban (Rachel's father) tricks Jacob by giving his eldest daughter, Leah, to him instead. When Jacob discovers the substitution, he works out a deal to have Rachel as well. Yep... married sisters. You can't make this stuff up, folks. In verse 30, the Scriptures say that "he loved Rachel more than Leah."

How sad. I think back to my high school years when I was jilted for another girl. That happened a lot in my dating experiences, so bringing those feelings back up is no problem. I would feel so less than, so unappealing, so unloved and unworthy. I can't imagine having to share my husband with another woman. I mean, sure, it would be nice to divvy up the household chores with another chick, but at the end of the day, I would not want to compete with another for my husband's attention. Now imagine it's your sister who has been the more beautiful of the two girls in the house (verse 17). It breaks my heart. So that's why when I read that God saw that Leah was not loved, it just really spoke to me.

God saw it. Then He did something for her. Wow.

So, here's my question, and maybe what I am trying to find out as I search the Scripture: does God do this today? Does He see our hurt, pain, trials, injustice and then touch our lives in some way? In a tangible way? For Leah, He opened her womb and she conceived Jacob's first child. It didn't make Jacob love her, and it really led to a strange baby-making competition between the two sisters that I won't get into, but God saw a hurt and did something to make Leah feel better. Does He do that for us today?

I think He does. I've always felt that way, but I am seeing now in these crazy, uncivilized stories with unspeakable characters that He's always done it, even to the undeserving. I would like to think of it as God's way of drawing us near in our state of feeling unloved (as with Leah) or unworthy. In the darkest parts of our life, perhaps God brings a tiny little speck of joy to show us He's still there. Like yesterday, my speck of joy was that one sentence that God saw Leah... my heart literally turned over when I read it. If He saw Leah, then He sees me.

He sees me. You are the God that sees me.

The past week or two have been tough for me. I can't tell you how many posts I've sat down to write and then deleted. How many times my husband has asked me, "Are you okay?" How many days I've just wanted to curl up in a ball and sleep the day away. God sees me. He's aware of my feelings, my battles, my worries. He cares about me as much as He cared for Leah. And I found that as comforting as a warm blanket fresh from the tumbling dryer.

Wrap yourself up in it, too, why don't you...

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Love this post Tamara! It's so wonderful the He sees...