When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. —Genesis 29:31
Leah was unloved by her husband but was loved by the Lord, whereas Rachel was loved by her husband but was barren. The Lord did not honor Rachel in the thing that began to matter more than her beauty, her brains, and everything else she had going for her.
What is the difference between having love from someone here below and receiving love from the Lord? Earthly love is only of the here and now, but the love that is from above has the future in mind. I want to ask you this: Do you feel deprived because you haven't had a great education, you don't have a brilliant brain or good looks, you don't have a good job, and you feel unappreciated? But there's more to life than beauty or brains that make people excel.
I have this question: Are you loved by the Lord? That's what matters. You ask, "How can I know?" Well, to begin with, Hebrews 12:6 says, "The Lord disciplines those he loves." What does this mean? It means God begins to deal with you; He forces you to learn something in a way that is pretty tough. It may be the Lord who has kept you from getting that job or from getting married. It may be the Lord who has brought you to a place where everything happening around you is bad, and you wonder where God is. Are all the bad things that happen God's doing? Yes. God brings you so low that there's nowhere to look but up, and then, when you start looking at Him, He says, "Oh, good, you're coming to Me. That is what I wanted." And you begin to realize that the Lord loved you so much that He beckoned you in His direction. You see, those whom the Lord loves, He deals with, and those who are dealt with are truly His; they will go to heaven and no one else.
But one day you will find out that God loved you so much that, to get your attention, He brought you to the place where you just looked to Him.
Excerpted from All's Well That Ends Well (Authentic Media, 2005).