“Because your love is better than life, I will praise you.” Psalm 63:3 NCV
Life is filled with disappointment.
Maybe right now you’re experiencing it firsthand—haven’t we all? It could be that your career isn’t advancing like you thought it should. Or your kids made a royal mess of your living room. Or you can’t seem to get ahead of your crushing debt. Or maybe your Christmas cards came three weeks late…
Or maybe you’re disappointed in a relationship.
February is the month of love—filled with hearts and roses and chocolates and cupids. But what about the Februarys when there aren’t roses and chocolates and kisses for you?
When I struggle with the disappointments of life, I turn to Genesis 29. There I find the story of Leah.
Leah was the less-desirable, weak-eyed older sister of Jacob’s beloved, Rachel. Her sneaky father hadn’t wanted Leah, and pawned her off on unsuspecting Jacob, who ended up married to both sisters.
Jacob was madly in love with beautiful Rachel. Leah was a disappointment to him.
But God saw Leah’s struggle, and gave Leah sons. As she birthed her sons, Leah held onto hope that Jacob would finally cherish her. With the birth of her third son Levi she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me!” (Genesis 29:32, 34 NIV).
But Jacob still didn’t fall for Leah.
Leah conceived yet again, this time giving birth to baby Judah and proclaiming, “This time I will praise the Lord!” (Genesis 29:35). Suddenly the weak-eyed woman saw clearly how to respond to life’s disappointments.
Nothing had changed about Leah’s marriage—Jacob wasn’t smitten with her.
What had changed was Leah’s heart. No longer was Leah pining for love from a devoted husband. Instead, she turned her heart to God in praise despite her life of disappointment.
What a powerful testimony to us!
When life throws us curveballs and people let us down, we can still praise the only One who will never disappoint, the only One whose love truly lasts—Jesus Christ himself.
In this world we’ll never completely escape let downs, hardship, or pain. We’ll never have the picture-perfect marriage or a story-book life—but what we’ve got is even better.
We’ve got a perfect Savior who redeems us and calls us his own. Even when we can’t understand the challenges and hardships we face, we can trust God’s perfect plan because He knows what He’s doing in our lives. Can I get an amen?
Let’s jump back to Leah’s story for even more about the lasting love Leah found.
Remember that little baby, Leah birthed in the passage we read? The one she praised God for?
That tiny baby had a gigantic role in God’s plan.
- He was a key player in saving his entire family from devastating famine. (Genesis 44-45)
- His descendants wrote psalms of praise and words of wisdom, still preserved in scripture for us today.
- He was a forefather to greats like David who slew Goliath and King Solomon who built the temple and ruled the wealthiest earthly kingdom in history.
- His name Judah was echoed for generations to come in the name of God’s people, the Jews.
- But most of all, from him descended the King of Kings, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Jesus Christ himself—the desperately needed, much-awaited Messiah.
All from a homely, unloved woman who chose praise over drowning in discontent.
If that’s what happens when one woman chooses worship instead of wallowing in despair, just think what could happen if we all do?! Let’s follow Leah’s lead, choosing worship today.
Lord, give us the eyes of Leah, who saw disappointment as an opportunity for praise.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3 NLT
Rachel Risner is the author of the women’s Bible study, Significant: Six Ordinary Women, One Extraordinary God, A Study of Women in Jesus’s Genealogy. She finds powerful, encouraging lessons in the lives of female Bible characters and loves sharing them with women. She lives in the beautiful Amish country of Northeast Ohio with her pastor husband and their seven children. Find out more about Rachel at rachelrisner.com or connect with her on Facebook or Instagram