Wednesday 17 July, 2019

Genesis 29:31-35

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. 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.

Appreciate Leah’s concerns and respect her response. She feels unloved, left out, without a future and without value. God is the God who notices the unloved, God notices the fringe dwellers, God is kind and compassionate to the outsider. The children Leah has she names according the story that God is shaping in her life and these names also echo the themes of the grand history that God is creating for Abraham’s descendants. They are not only answers to Leah’s prayers but also answers to Abraham’s prayers. Leah’s boys are the tender and direct response of God to the cry of her heart.

Remember today God’s attentive gentleness towards you, especially in the midst of feeling unloved and alone. Pour out your heart to God in prayer. Be patient – the answers to Leah’s prayers were not instantaneous, but were worked out gradually over the course of years. Leah is a spiritual ancestor to us and her story has become our story through Jesus. The pattern of Leah’s story carries over into our lives for hope in any number of situations and challenges. Where are you feeling forgotten and alone?

Jesus, I bear my heart to you – I hold nothing back. I don’t hide from you and I want to patiently wait for your answers to my prayers. Sustain me as I wait. Fill me with your joy, even in the tough times. Amen

Written by Sam Stewart

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