“I will guide you along the best pathway for your life” (Psalm 32:8)
We sure spend a lot of time planning our lives, don’t we? Whether it’s planning our education, our family, or our career. Why, we even spend time planning our funeral. We want our lives to be perfect, pristine, and flawless. We want others, especially family, to look just right, sound just right, and act just right. All because it’s a reflection of who we are. So, we say we trust God, but at the same time we sure hope and pray that his plans for us are the same ones we have for ourselves. That’s why we struggle so when life hands us a pile of painful, agonizing disappointments and uncertainties.
There’s a woman in the Old Testament who knows all about life’s disappointments. A woman whose life touches ours in a powerful way, though no one would ever believe that she of all people would bring us our greatest blessing. Her name was Leah. Leah was married to Jacob (you know, the deceiver who stole the birthright from his brother, Esau). In fact, not only was Leah married to Jacob, but her sister Rachel was married to him also. Two sisters, both wives to the same man. This man had a tiger by the tail! Now, scripture tells us that Rachel was beautiful. It also tells us that Leah had “weak eyes.” I can’t tell you exactly what “weak eyes” means, but I can tell you that Leah’s dreams as a child to marry a loving husband and have a family that would be in a Kodak moment (you know, the kind of picture with the whole family smiling, all dressed in matching pajamas) would never come to fruition. No, instead the bible tells us that “Jacob’s love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah.”
So maybe Leah’s life was a big disappointment to her. And maybe she didn’t have the love, acceptance, and perfection she had hoped for. But you know, God was paying close attention to Leah – very close attention. Because he had a plan for her that she knew nothing about. Leah ended up producing six sons and one daughter for Jacob. And from those sons came not only half of the twelve tribes of Israel, but also the priesthood of Israel, the kingdom reign of Israel, some of the prophets of Israel, John the Baptist – and especially the Messiah himself. You see, every Hebrew girl knew the promise God had given Abraham, “through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 22:18). So, every Hebrew girl wanted to be the one to bring forth that promised offspring. And Leah, the unloved, unlovely one, got the winning ticket!
Don’t worry about the disappointments in your life. And stop carrying around and nurturing all the rejections, lost hopes, and shattered dreams you have experienced. Instead, give yourself and your life fully to God. Your life isn’t about your past – it’s about God’s plans for your future.