Leah & Rachel • Devotion #3: Never Enough
Ryan & Cathy Story | Location Pastor – Burton
Have you ever met someone who constantly seems negative? Negative people seem to have a skill at finding the bad in any situation that arises. It can seem that no matter what good may actually come their way, it just never seems to be enough. It does not matter what good seems to be in front of them, there is always something that could be better, cleaner, quieter, less full, more full, or any other issue they might deem as bad. While this mentality can be detrimental in itself, negativity can be abundantly even more destructive within a family. In Genesis chapters 29 and 30 we read about two sisters who are ruled by envy in their relationship with one another.
When we meet these two sisters, Jacob has been sent by his mother, Rebekah, to her brother Laban. Jacob sees Rachel, Laban’s daughter, at a well and falls in love with her. Genesis chapter 29:16-17 informs us that, “Laban had two daughters the name of the older was Leah and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance.” One can imagine the rift these known differences may have caused between these sisters. I am certain that most people would not want to go through life being defined by the way they look. Jacob and Laban struck a deal that Jacob would work for seven years and at the end of that time, he would get to marry Rachel. After those seven years of work had passed and the wedding was to take place, Laban switched the daughters and Jacob ended up with Leah instead of Rachel. Jacob looked at Laban and in verse 25 said, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?” Think for just a moment about how this would have made Leah feel. Jacob and Laban agreed that Jacob would finish the wedding week, and then he would marry Rachel in exchange for another seven years of work. In verse 31 we are told, “When the Lord saw the Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.” Leah ended up with four sons, while Rachel had none. Genesis 30 begins, “When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister.”
Rachel was most likely not used to being outshined by her sister Leah. The song Never Enough sung by Loren Allred in the movie The Greatest Showman has a catchy chorus:
“These hands could hold the world,
but it will
never be enough,
never be enough for me.
Never, never, for me.”
All I can think as I write this devotion is that this would have been Rachel’s theme song. She had a husband who was willing to work for fourteen years just to be with her; she has been described as beautiful in form and appearance, but yet she finds herself envious of her sister. This envy led to a back and forth between the sisters of giving their servants to bear children for them and trading and making deals to be with their husband.
I have to believe that this was not the relationship God had intended for these sisters to have. When we approach life with this “never enough” mentality, we only bring harm to ourselves and to the others around us. People who should be our biggest supporters and standing in our corner, end up being our adversaries. Instead of letting our envy, anger, or hurt drive our actions with others we should take a note from 1 Thessalonians 5:11, which states, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up.” What power and strength can come from us encouraging and supporting one another. There is a common quote that states, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” Reacting in a negative fashion weakens our link in the church of Christ. This is not God’s will for us. Proverbs 14:30 writes, “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.”
How different could Leah and Rachel’s relationship have been if instead of reacting in envy, they reacted in love to one another? How could relationships in your life look different if you chose to respond in more peaceful and uplifting ways? How could your relationship with God be improved if it was not constantly being tested because you feel you should have something better in your life? Trust that God has given you everything you need; His grace is sufficient enough for every situation you are and will encounter.