In Genesis, we read the story of Jacob, who leaves home after some family trouble. He travels a distance and then stops to rest. Pulling up a stone as a pillow, Jacob dreams of a stairway, and sees angels ascending and descending on it. Above it all, he sees God, who declares Himself, and promises Jacob a bunch of crazy stuff: the land on which he lies, descendants who will spread out in every direction, and a blessing that will extend from his family to all of the people on the earth. God further promises that He will be with Jacob wherever he goes, and will bring him back to this land, never leaving him until all of His amazing promises are fulfilled. When Jacob wakes up after this whopper of a dream, he says something pretty simple and obvious:
“Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”
Ah, but who can blame Jacob, really? There he was, feeling guilty and distanced from his family, sleeping in the cold desert with a rock for a pillow. It certainly didn’t feel like holy ground. But there was supernatural help for Jacob, lots of it, just past his field of vision.
Like Jacob, we live in the midst of the Lord who is doing the unthinkable every day on our behalf: directing the work of angels, making and keeping big promises, and using people and circumstances to guide our paths. At the same time, we can be utterly unaware of how God is working in our lives because we just can’t see it yet. I get it. Like Jacob, I am on a journey, walking on holy ground, and looking for rest. God is declaring Himself and promising me outlandish things daily that are mostly embarrassingly easy to disregard when all I see is cold stone. It is easy to sleep, to walk through our days feeling unimportant, invisible, and unseen, but God does see. There is a web that connects us all and there is grace to see what has been happening all along, and what might be right around the corner.
In hopeful, clear moments, I do see that the Lord is actually in this place, in what can seem to me like desert. He’s collecting my prayers through ascending angels and He’s working on my cause. His plans and promises will be fulfilled, and He’ll never leave me. Sometimes I get it with such clarity, it makes me gasp. And sometimes I’m sleeping on stone.