In Her Shadow

Two sisters – Leah and Rachel. One is described as beautiful with a lovely figure. The other, well, she had "weak eyes." No one knows what that means for certain, but I’m sure it wasn’t a complement. Some suggest that her vision was so bad that she squinted to see. Others think she was cross-eyed. In either case, Leah was perceived as the “lesser” sister. One day, Jacob enters the lives of Leah and Rachel. He quickly falls in love with Rachel, and he vows to work seven years for Laban, their father, to earn her hand in marriage. The wedding day and honeymoon night come and go. With the morning light peaking into the tent, Jacob discovers that he had been deceived. He actually married Leah.

This was an intentional plot to marry off the oldest daughter first. Apparently, Laban thought the only way someone would marry Leah was by tricking him. Now, that’s a confidence builder!

Still determined, Jacob pledges to work an additional seven years for Laban to earn the right to marry Rachel. After all, she was the one he actually loved.

[H]is love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. – Genesis 29:30

Today, I want to speak to the “Leahs” of the world. The women who are not appreciated for the value that they bring. The women who spend their lives living in the shadow of another because they are perceived as lesser. Maybe you’ve been compared to your sister like Leah was. Or maybe, you have been overshadowed by your mother, aunt, friend or even a co-worker because they are more attractive, talented, or successful.

Ladies, you need to hear me. God wants to pull you out of the shadows. He wants you to see the greatness that He has deposited inside of you, yes you! It is time to break free from the stigma that has been placed upon you, and walk boldly into the light – His light.

Sadly, I’m not sure if Leah ever realized that, although she did not have Jacob’s favor, she had God’s favor. In fact, Rachel spent most of her life envying her sister, because unlike Leah, she wasn’t able to have children. It wasn’t until the end of Rachel’s life that she was able to conceive. And with that, she died giving birth to her second son. With God’s favor upon Leah, she bore six sons and one daughter for Jacob. One son, Judah, is part of the ancestry of Jesus. What a wonderful legacy!

God saw Leah’s value. But, she missed it. She spent her entire life feeling inferior to her sister.

“Leahs," your lives have significance! You need to stop feeling second-rate to the “Rachels” of the world. God has a purpose for your life. Boldly step out of the shadows, and into your destiny.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. – Psalm 139:13-15

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