Imagine, for a moment, that you are Leah. The Bible refers to you as, tender-eyed, or weak-eyed, whereas your younger sister is said to be beautiful and well-favored. If that weren’t bad enough, your father had to trick a man into marrying you. And that man isn’t interested in you in the least. Instead he is in love with your sister. Imagine how unlovable, unwanted and unattractive you would feel, how your self-esteem would plummet.
“And when the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren” (Genesis 29:31). The Amplified Version goes as far as to say Leah was despised, which means that Jacob had a scornful dislike for her.
God saw that Leah was in a difficult marriage, that her husband was in love with another woman, her sister. For her affliction and her suffering, God gave her a son. However, Leah expected Jacob to fall head over heels in love with her because she bore him a son. When he didn’t, she, no doubt, became disappointed.
How many times has God given you a blessing that wasn’t exactly how you expected it to be? When it didn’t solve all your problems, did you reject it?
By the third son, though, something happened. She made an interesting transition in her thinking. Instead of expecting him to love her, she was content to be his companion (Amplified Version). But by the fourth son, she began praising God.
It must have been difficult for her to praise the Lord. As far as I could tell, nothing had changed in her life. She was still in a loveless marriage. She was still competing with her sister. Yet she was able to praise the Lord.
Why? Because there had been a shift in her thinking. Yes, she was still second-best in Jacob’s eyes, but she was favored in the eyes of the Lord. After all, God did bless her with four sons and one daughter!
When we can praise God in the midst of our circumstances, that is a sign that we are growing up in Christ. It is in that place that God will meet us and work on our behalf.
“Be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 TEV).
God wants us to be thankful in all circumstances. No, we shouldn’t thank God for the problems, but we do need to find something in each situation that we can be thankful for. Even if it is just a promise that God makes us in His Word, such as “God shall supply all our needs, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
If we don’t, we end up thinking only about ourselves and how bad our life is, getting more and more depressed with every passing moment. Instead we need to find something we can be grateful for each and every day. When we do, we get our minds off of how bad things are and over on how good our God is.