Leah conceived and bore a son and named him Reuben, for she said, “Because the LORD has seen my affliction, surely now my husband will love me.” (Genesis 29:32)
We want love at (just about) all costs. Isn’t it our “right”? Surely God wants us to be loved. He doesn’t want us to be alone, rejected, hurt. He wants us to be happy, and happy and loved go hand-in-hand. Oh, the slippery slopes we venture onto because they look right, and others say they’re right, so we’re convinced they are right.
God does, indeed, want us to be loved. There is no question about it. But we will never experience a love that rivals His love for us. He provides other love relationships for us throughout our lives: through a spouse, child, parent, friend, sister, and the list goes on. When we don’t get them all, especially the ones we most want, it doesn’t mean God is cheating us out of something. When we don’t get what we think is the “best,” it doesn’t mean God is cheating us out of something. We cheat ourselves out of God’s love when we choose to define His love based on our experiences of love. We take the quality of what we think He’s giving us and decide that’s the best He has to offer. We cheapen the truth of His love.
Leah connected Jacob’s love for her to the children she was able to provide for him. We get it. What we do or provide for someone doesn’t create love where there is none. Love can certainly grow through circumstances, but there’s no a magic equation of “Do this=Receive love.” Even if it seems such an equation works for a situation, it’s conditional. There is another equation that follows: “Do this=Lose love.”
Not with God. God says…
“I created you. I love you.”
“I am God. I am love. I love you.”
“Trust me. Rely on Me. I provide the love you need.”
Take a cue from Leah. Not only does she believe that she’ll be loved because of something she has done, but she makes sure to pull God into the equation. She knows God well enough to know that He sees her and He cares. But she takes a dangerous leap from “God sees my hurt” to “Jacob will now love me.”
How many times do we say something to the effect of “I know God loves me and wants the best for me, so He’s going to work this all out.” And it’s true. He will work all things out. But we need to be careful what we assume when we claim He works all things out. Like Leah, we can claim a truth about God but take a faulty step into assumption because we mix what we want into the equation. We can easily take a step from the truth and trust of “God will work this out” into “and I know how He’ll work this out.”
Our will isn’t the same as God’s will. How we prefer to see something work out isn’t how it may work out. God works all things to His good. When we yield, He gets the glory. When a relationship doesn’t go the way we want, we can say, “God is God, and I’m going to trust and follow Him through this journey.” When we look back at a painful or confusing experience, we can say, “God is God, and I’m going to let Him speak His truth into me about this. I’m going to let Him use it in my life however He wants.”
When we trust God, He gets all the glory, regardless of the circumstance. When we know God and His love, we see everything else in light of it. When we filter all the love in our relationships on earth through the truth of God’s love, we see situations from God’s perspective instead of seeing the distortions through our own eyes and hearts.
Dear God, please help me to know Your love, not only with my head but with my heart. Help me not to wait until You’ve healed all my wounds and fixed all my hurts before I truly accept Your love for me.