Who doesn’t want to be beautiful for the person they love? Have you ever felt slightly . . . not beautiful? Has it ever bothered you? I’ve been there. I actually let the concept of beauty bother far more than I should.
One beautiful truth that I have learned is that the way the world defines beauty is not as important as true beauty. And true beauty, or loveliness doesn’t have to be natural, but it can come from Somewhere else. A story that has taught me this is the story of “The Girl No One Wanted” in the Jesus Storybook Bible. The story tells about Leah from the Bible. As the Bible says, Leah was not as beautiful as her sister Rachel, and therefore, she was not chosen first, although she was the oldest. And even though she was able to have many children, she was never the most loved by the husband she shared with her sister. I can’t imagine the feelings of desperation and ugliness and worthlessness that could have plagued Leah.
If you’re like me, you may have found a guy in your life who loves you and tells you you’re beautiful even when you don’t feel it. Maybe you haven’t. Maybe you’re struggling through a time when you don’t feel chosen or loved by anyone. Maybe you feel a little like Leah. She was always second to Rachel in terms of beauty. And yet, in Sally Lloyd-Jones’ treatment of the story, she gives us a beautiful glimpse at the truth of how God affects our loveliness. She writes:
“But God didn’t think she was ugly. And when he saw that Leah was not loved and that no one wanted her, God chose her – to love her specially, to give her a very important job. One day, God was going to rescue the whole world – through Leah’s family. Now, when Leah knew that God loved her, in her heart, suddenly it didn’t matter anymore whether her husband loved her the best, or if she was the prettiest. Someone had chosen her, someone did love her – with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love . . . One of Leah’s children’s children’s children would be a prince – the Prince of Heaven – God’s Son. This Prince would love God’s people. They wouldn’t need to be beautiful for him to love them. He would love them with all of his heart. And they would be beautiful because he loved them.”
Notice that in this paragraph, Leah’s loveliness does not come from her hair, her physique, her clothes, or even her personality. Her loveliness comes as a reflection of God’s blessing and working in her life. Her loveliness was evidence of a beautiful Creator, and a Creator who had chosen her.
Maybe today you are feeling unbeautiful. Maybe you are feeling lost and lonely. Take a moment and remember that not only are you made in the image of God, and so bear His loveliness in that way, but He has also chosen to love you, and as that love is reflected in you, you too can be lovely.