Hey, how is your week going?
Well, on my end, I have experienced all weather types in the past couple of days: the rain, the wind, the sun, the chilly chill as I prefer to call it…Almost sounds like a description of life, doesn’t it? I think so, (could be wrong.) but that’s just Cape Town weather for you.
Let’s get to it, shall we…
As mentioned previously, my aunt and her husband had to move and that meant I had to find a new home. Quite a short stay it had been, almost like chilling at the airport before your flight, or at the bus station before the bus comes (whichever floats the boat, same principle.) I had to move to Bulawayo, an even bigger city by Zimbabwean standards, since it is the second largest city, in the hierarchy of development I suppose. I was to stay with another one of my aunts (my dad’s sister) with her two daughters. To spare you the nitty-gritties, I moved to Bulawayo, my aunt took me there and left us both with her 2 year old son whom she came back to get a little while later.
By this point, I was beginning to develop constant-change-fatigue (that is a term I am coining to best describe it in my own terminology.) I was nervous about having to adapt to a new environment with a new school, new family and even new language! I was slowly becoming a teenager and we all know the story with teenagers. Let’s just say I now had emotions to process, and thoughts to ponder upon.
Everything about my new environment was obviously new, including the fact that every child around my new aunt called her mom and I was the only one who had to call her aunt. I didn’t like that so I just started calling her mom, she resisted it at first, but I insisted on it until it just stuck ha ha. ( I sought to belong and I was not going to be deterred)
I was also introduced to my dad’s brother and his family who lived relatively close, another of my dad’s sisters and her son too and my mom’s sister and her family. Seemingly my circle had just gotten bigger…but…it made me sad. Sad because I could see that every other child had their parents, and I didn’t. The permanency of the situation broke my heart & I thought to myself life was unfair, God was not as loving and that I was just a tad bit tired of having to move families. I guess you could refer to me at that point as heartbroken, angry and bitter. I thought I didn’t deserve it, I had done nothing ‘wronger’ than the other children to have my parents taken away as punishment.
Recently, I was studying the word and came across a story of a woman I have often judged and frowned upon, Leah. I have always rolled my eyes at her for ‘ruining the perfect love story‘ of a guy who was so in love that working 7 years felt like nothing to him until she came along and complicated it all! Argh, how dare you, Leah! I always skimmed through her part in scripture with such self-proclaimed righteous indignation of how bad bad bad Leah was.
However, when I read the story of Leah this time around, something was different about it and I just couldn’t shake it off or shut it off my mind. For the first time in my life, I looked at Leah and I felt such deep compassion for her. She really didn’t do any wrong. She was rejected time and time again, I would like to believe, by potential suitors because of how she looked. Mind you, she didn’t do anything to look the way she looked and she couldn’t necessarily do anything to stop looking the way she did. Next up, her father deceitfully set her up with her little sister’s fiance (if I can call him that) who made it as clear as daylight that he never wanted her anyway and that she was such an inconvenience to his love for his beloved Rachel and that being with her had been nothing but a decision he had been cunningly deceived to blindly take. And yes, she now had to live in a polygamous marriage where jealousy, bickering and competition for love (in which she was losing miserably) was the order of the day. Ouch, How sad, SO UNFAIR, I thought.
You know, we have to acknowledge that life was never truly created to be ‘fair’. When God created humanity, He never mentioned the word ‘fair’. He said you are created in my image and I want you to be fruitful and have dominion, subdue the earth and rule…he did not say *have it easy*. I know, I know, fair would be nice, but in this world?! Crazy.
Leah wanted so desperately for her husband to love her, (which is not a bad desire at all, after all he was her husband), and she kept hoping he would. This was reflected in the names she would give her children. Can you imagine the excitement during the 9 months as she thought once she gave birth he would love her, only for him to still reject her at the end of the pregnancy? Devastating.
Genesis 29: 31 When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now. ”33 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon. 34 Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi.
You can tell that this was painful for her, she kept wishing it would change. Even if it wasn’t fair that she was going through that, it was her reality. You can also tell that Leah believed in God as she makes reference to the Lord in naming these three sons. She still believed He saw her and heard her. For some reason, at that point, it would have appeared as if, knowing God was not helping at all. That was not the case though. In reality, Leah got the honor to mother the majority of the tribes of Israel, a people God treasured as His chosen people, a manifestation of His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, her husband.
Let me just say this; discomfort, or even pain/hardship, does not directly translate to the absence of God. If you are going through a tough season right now…you have not been abandoned by God.
Romans 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I love how Leah’s perspective and focus shifted in verse 35. At some point, she stopped using her deeds as a way to buy love, she just rather focused on God. What a beautiful turnaround.
Genesis 29: 35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children.
I was paying attention to Judah in scripture lately as well. He is the tribe that always came first when the Israelites were doing something or going somewhere. Although he was not the first born in his lineage, I believe he was first in what was born & received with God as the center/chief motive and ultimately it became the lineage that Jesus came through. I think it goes to show that things done in our strength or with our own self-advancing motives usually don’t align with God’s purposes for our lives.
Judges 20:18 The Israelites went up to Bethel and inquired of God. They said, “Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Benjamites?” The Lord replied, “Judah shall go first.”
I know it also means praise goes first, but for the context of this blog, we are not going to dwell on that.
You matter to God, and so do I. Even if 59 000 things that are difficult to explain/accept/experience were to happen to you and I, God would remain loving towards us. You have a real enemy if you are in the kingdom of God, a relentless enemy at that, & that’s who to blame for any stealing, killing or destroying that has ever happened to you, not God. God is altogether good and loving & he could never purposefully plan evil towards you & I. All his thoughts concerning us are good perpetually because He is good & cannot deny Himself. Learn to dwell in the presence of the Most High. That way, no foe can withstand you. Some things might hurt yes, but God is in the business of healing all wounds, mending broken hearts and working it all out for God.
My parents might have died prematurely and Leah’s situation might have been complex, but the Lord ultimately worked Leah’s story out for good. At the end of his life, Jacob wanted to be buried next to her. I think that’s a pointer that he eventually loved and respected her as his wife…AND…God is still working out my story for good. All my life he has given me family even if it meant constantly moving around, that was okay, He knows why it had to be that way. You probably have your own unique story. Be encouraged. God is on your side.
Today God is saying to you Leah/Delsha/[Insert Your Name]…YOU ARE LOVED BY ME.
SHORT PRAYER FOR YOU
Lord, I thank you for the person reading this. Their journey might become complex at times but I know your love for them is sure. Surround them with signs that you are present as a loving father in their lives. Use even the most random things/situations/people to minister love especially to those who look at their lives/seasons and feel it could have been better. I know you love us dearly, you gave us your son freely, what else would you not give us? Thank you Abba for your love and warm embrace. We receive it by faith especially during the times it feels like it is absent. We choose to love you back and trust you with our everyday lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
Thank you for dropping by, much appreciated!