Jacob was deeply in love with Rachel. He worked 7 years to be able to marry her. Then when Rachel’s father tricked him into marrying Leah instead, he agreed to work 7 more years if he could marry her then. They married and stayed with her father’s household.
But Rachel wasn’t having any children. Her sister, Leah, already had 4 sons and she didn’t have any children at all. So she devised a plan to help things along. She gave her maid, Bilhah, to her husband so Bilhah could have children for Rachel. It worked and Bilhah gave birth to Dan, which means “he has vindicated,” and then Naphtali, which means “my struggle.” Rachel felt she had won the competition with her sister. But then Leah gave her maid, Zilpah, to Jacob and she had 2 more sons. (If you are keeping track, Jacob now has 8 sons!!!) After that Leah herself gave birth to 2 more sons.
Now by this time Rachel feels totally disgraced. In this culture a woman who couldn’t have children was useless. Rachel spent years wishing for what she didn’t have instead of being content with what she did have. Rachel had her husband’s love. Her sister, Leah, tried her whole life to win her husband’s love, but Rachel had all of it. Eventually God did have compassion on Rachel and she gave birth to a son, Joseph. But even then she was wishing for more because Joseph means “may he add.” Rachel need to step back and be content with the blessings she had. It is very easy to focus on what we don’t have but all of us have something for which to be thankful.
It is okay to want (and pray) for things, but don’t let the lack of one thing ruin the joy of the things you do have. Even when Rachel finally got what she asked for, she still was looking for more. Joy is found in accepting what you have and knowing it is enough.
Walk around your home and find 10 things each child is thankful for.