i was reading my Bible yesterday because i had to do some research for work...and i decided to use Leah and Rachel in my work.
for anyone that doesn't know about these two awesome yet very human sisters, you can check out their story in Genesis 29-30ish. but as a quick rundown...Leah and Rachel were sisters--Leah the oldest. Jacob (Issacs son, Abrahams grandson) fell in love with Rachel. as they were to be married, Rachel's father switched Rachel with her older sister Leah (the reasons for this could be many--Laban their father was a nasty man. and some say that the tradition was for the oldest to be married first) and Jacob accidentally married Leah. but because he was in love with Rachel, he married her too. now he wound up with two wives.
before i continue, let me interject that God has a funny sense of humor about Himself, and He never does anything for one reason. i was reading this story for my business, but wound up applying it to myself.
so anyway...now Jacob has two wives who were sisters. sibling rivalry is a terror because these two constantly fought for Jacob's love. Jacob, although in love with Rachel, still knew that Leah was his wife. Leah was not very beautiful but she had a good heart and she was in absolute love with Jacob. Rachel was angry and frustrated and unhappy because she had a nasty father who basically ruined her life and she also had to compete for her husband Jacob, whom she loved.
Leah's story is one that we hear of so much today--she became pregnant, not once--but six times--to hope to win her husband's love and affection. and it never worked...because no matter how many children she had by Jacob, he always loved Rachel more.
yanno the saying, "a baby don't keep a man?" well the women of today--those same women who get pregnant in hopes of keeping their man--are the Leah's of today.
but that's not why i read the story, or why i applied it to myself. God has blessed me with a man that i don't have to fight over.
now Leah had the babies, but didn't have Jacob.
Rachel was the exact opposite. Rachel had Jacob, but she was infertile. and that was ruining her life even moreso than fighting over him with Leah was. Rachel believed that Leah was 10x better than she because Leah had Jacob's children, while she could not. Although Rachel had the love of her life and was content in every area, she still was basically a miserable little wench...because she wanted the man and his babies (this is where God taught me a lesson...but i'll get to that in a moment).
Now finally, God allowed Rachel to conceive. She had her son Joseph (who eventually became the ruler of Egypt)...and her words of joy were, "God has taken away my disgrace. May the Lord add to me another son!" so Rachel's thankfulness didn't come from having a healthy child, but "winning" the "war" between her sister and herself. because see, Leah had the babies, but not Jacob. and now Rachel had the baby AND Jacob...so she felt that she was the winner.
to make a long story short...Rachel's happiness didn't come until she had it all. But she was so miserable with her life because she was hurt and angry at her father and her sister that she missed out on her life. instead of enjoying what she was blessed with, Rachel complained her life away. not only that, but she was also a liar and a deciever herself--she let her anger and emotions get the best of her and basically ruin who she was, and that directly lead to her death. Leah remained faithful and loyal despite not having her hearts content...and guess what? Leah lived the longest life, had the most children AND she was buried with Abraham and Sarah. and rumor has it that Jacob eventually began to notice and become affectionate with Leah. Leah worked with what she had and thanked God for it, even if she had to share, even if she got the short end of the stick. Rachel only had two children, died at a young age while delivering the second baby, and was buried on the side of a road...away from her ancestors. she was miserable and unhappy because she didn't have it all. she was in constant competition with her sister (even though a man having multiple wives during this time was normal), always bickering, and at one time she and Jacob weren't on speaking terms because she was so miserable acting.
for a minute there, i was Rachel. instead of being happy with what i have and working with it, i complained and groped. i saw myself in Rachel...having love, having health, having this and that--but still being miserable because of what i don't have. for Rachel it was children and her husband to herself. for me, it's not having money and time to myself. but there are so many things i do have. i need to be grateful like Leah was...take what i have and work with it. because there are so many people that don't have it.
so i thank God for taking me to that story of Rachel and Leah...because i see that i do have alot and it could be worse.
i won't complain. and i feel like a heel for complaining as much as i did. my children, God, my extended family--really didn't deserve it. and i apologize to them.
and as a sidenote--check out this link:
this is an amazing story. i am big on history and culture in my older age--especially multicultural relationships, slavery and spanish culture. so this is right up my alley. how amazing a find they have...and what a story. enjoy!