Have you ever felt overlooked or unwanted? You might be thinking, “Seriously, is that even a question?”
As women too often we feel overlooked or as though we are not enough. We tend to compare ourselves to those around us. In turn we end up striving for something more—to be better, to be more.
We scramble to stay busy and accomplish all of the necessary things that are recommended for a healthy life. We workout, eat right, take care of the kids, make sure we know the latest trends in fashion. Not to mention making sure the hair is just so. Then there’s that pile of books to read, and in the back of our minds are all the tips on weight loss, fitness, and crash diets that help you drop sizes in clothes. There’s the messages of “eat this, don’t eat that … don’t you want to look like this? You know … “10 days to a better you.” The list goes on.
Are you tired of it?
See, so many years have been spent in constant striving for a better me that I’ve ended up completely exhausted from all of it. I don’t remember where I saw the quote, but the statement really made me stop and think. The quote spoke of how we don’t know how much the women in the Bible weighed. There’s no indication of body types mentioned throughout the Bible.
Let that sink in for a moment. We don’t know how much Ruth weighed, or Esther, or Rachel, or Leah, or Tamar, or Rahab, or Deborah, or Mary, or Mary Magdalene, the woman at the well, or Miriam.
So why then do we so fixate on this aspect of our life?
There is nothing wrong with being healthy and taking care of the temple the Lord gave you, but what if we spent as much time focusing on the Lord as we did comparing ourselves to other women?
I am reminded of Leah and how she is described in the Bible as having “weak” or “tender” eyes while her sister, Rachel, was beautiful (Gen. 29:17). Now, whether this means that Leah’s eyes were physically weak or that she often wept, we don’t know, but in researching that word in this portion of Scripture it can mean tender or soft-hearted.
But regardless of her appearance, there is a deep anguish that is brought to light. Verse 30 tells us that Jacob loved his wife Rachel more than he loved Leah. Look at the following verses and hear the anguish in Leah’s heart, her striving and longing to be loved. Year after year she gave birth, hoping to find love from her husband.
When the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 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.” She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon. Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will be attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi. – Genesis 29: 31-34
So easily when reading this passage I see the pain of Leah’s heart, but I forget the One who is in control. For the Lord, the Almighty, saw Leah’s pain and gave her children.
Yet, did Leah turn her focus on the Lord? Did she praise Him?
Sadly, I think I am too often like Leah. I forget to thank the Lord for the blessings in my life and instead turn to the world for approval. But there is hope, for even Leah when giving birth to her fifth son, Judah, found rest in the Lord.
And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she called his name Judah. – Genesis 29: 35
There is such peace in that statement. “This time I will praise the Lord.”
What if we lived life like that ladies? Rather than constantly comparing our lives to those around us, instead, we praised the Lord for what He has given us? What if we were to just sit back and simply be? What if rather than being worried about how you look in a picture, you praised the Lord for the moment? What if instead of being worried about a number on the scale, you praised God for what your body can do? What if instead of comparing your life to another’s, you simply thanked God for what He has given you?
See, it is when Leah turned her focus from her circumstance to the One who anoints with the oil of joy, that her heart finally found rest.
For today, here as we embrace the beginning of a new week—praise Him! Rather than compare to others, compare what the world offers to the glorious wonder of the Lord, for nothing comes close to His love, His joy, and His abounding peace!
For today, give up. Just give up all the worries and comparisons to Him and say “Thank You, Lord.” Give up the fear that you aren’t enough, because in the Lord you are always enough.
He sees you. He hears you. He knows you. Praise Him.
Just give up your praise to the One who is above all.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.