Bee is resting peacefully but Carl continues to follow me around the house wanting constant attention. If I am not rubbing his head or scratching his coat, he nudges me with a little nip to remind me that I need to continue to pet him. And when I am not around, Bee becomes Carl’s target for affection. I have often questioned why he needs so much attention but am still perplexed.
If I think about it, Carl isn’t that different from any of us. If it isn’t the love and attention from another that we seek, it will take the form of desiring power or wealth. We place all our thoughts and desires into this one pursuit, believing with all of our hearts that if we could just obtain it, life would be complete.
As we look at the story of Leah in the Bible, we come to realize how true life can be obtained. Leah is described in the Bible as having “weak eyes”. Genesis 29:17. In other words, she was not pretty. To make matters worse, Rachel, her sister was absolutely stunning. I am sure Leah heard all of her life about how gorgeous her sister was and that she would definitely make someone a wonderful wife.
Now there weren’t that many eligible bachelors back in that time that would be potential husbands for these two girls. But low and behold, out of nowhere, Jacob, a young man who happens to be their first cousin appears on the scene. And we know who he wants to spend the rest of his life with. You guessed it, Rachel.
So a deal is struck with Leah and Rachel’s dad that if Jacob would work for seven years, he could marry Rachel. For seven years, Jacob works like a dog to demonstrate his love for Rachel. I can’t imagine being Leah watching this man who she wants with all of her heart constantly fussing over her sister.
Well the big day comes and Jacob can’t wait for the party to be over so he can consummate his vows with Rachel. So after a lot of drinking into the night, Jacob takes his bride back to his tent for some action.
Then the morning light breaks through and Jacob looks over at his bride to find Leah in his bed. Jacob had been deceived by Leah’s dad and now he was married to someone he didn’t want. This could make for a great soap opera plot but in this case, there is more to it than that.
Jacob confronts Leah and Rachel’s dad and he agrees to let him go ahead and marry Rachel as long as he works another seven years for him. Jacob now has two wives that love him very much and want nothing more than to give him children.
In Genesis 29:31 it states, “When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.” I love this verse because it demonstrates that God truly cares about all of us and particularly when we are hurting.
From afar, we may think that everyone lives happily ever after. Leah is going to bear children that will cause Jacob to fall in love with her and everyone wins. But instead, Leah has three boys, without Jacob changing his affection towards her in the least.
Then something happens between the third and fourth child that changes Leah’s heart in an entirely different direction. No one will ever know how it happened but it did. In Genesis 29:35 we see an amazing change in attitude. “And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now I will praise the LORD.” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she stopped bearing.”
For the first time, Leah had changed her focus off of Jacob and onto God. She now comes to a conviction that life is about pleasing God and accepting his will for her life. And you want to know one more cool fact. Of all the children that Jacob had (12 in all), Judah’s lineage led to the birth of Jesus Christ.
As for Carl, he may never be able to change his need for affection from me to God, but I surely can. Carl’s constant pursuit of my attention can serve as a reminder to think about pleasing God and giving Him my best. And maybe like Leah, something amazing will happen.