And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Because the Lord has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.” – Genesis 29:32
At this point of my career, I have learned the signs of teenage heartbreak well. So as a young woman sat in my office crying about everything and anything, I had a feeling we were dealing with something deeper than just a bad day. “Hey, I could be totally off base here, but is this about a boy?” I asked quietly. The floodgates opened wide again as she choked out, “Why doesn’t he like me?”.
The truth is the hurt is rarely actually about the boy/girl who does the rejecting. It’s about the rejection itself. Why does no one want me? I’d like to say this is a hurt we grow out of, but I’ve had too many adults crying in my office (and too many heartbreaks myself) to really believe that.
No one would have understood the word rejection better than Leah from our reading today. Jacob loved Leah’s sister Rachel because her eyes were prettier. And even though Leah bore Jacob son after son (the greatest hope of any Hebrew father), Jacob still loved Rachel more.
I think we can all pinpoint times in our life when we’ve felt like the Leah in a given situation. Second (or third, or fourth) best and unwanted by the people whose acceptance we crave. Left looking around trying to find anyone who cares.
But friends, the good news is you don’t have to look far. Do you know who comes from Leah’s line? Jesus. He was a descendant of the undesirable, the unwanted, and the rejected sister. And He loved her deeply. Just as He loves you deeply. He will never reject you; He will never forsake you. The Lord who designed your heart will never break it. Take comfort in that, dear friends.
Prayer: Jesus, so often I feel rejected; like no one cares. Thank you for pointing to your Cross, dear Lord, and reminding me that you care for me more than anyone else.
Contributed by Hannah Hayden
Read Genesis 29 and record any insights you gain here.
Call to Connection
Reflect on times you’ve felt second best. Reach out to someone and remind them that you and God love them.