God Meets Us When and Where We Least Expect It (Fearless Living #5)
Genesis 28:16-17, NLT
Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” But he was also afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!”
Have you ever felt as though you were being watched or followed? Have you ever felt afraid while walking down a street at night alone? Do you panic when your surroundings are unfamiliar, or you are placed in a situation that seems difficult to get out of? Well, these feelings are similar to how Jacob felt in this passage.
Jacob was alone and afraid. He was on the run from his brother, Esau, who threatened to kill him after Jacob cheated him out of his birthright. He was confused in his heart and conflicted in his soul. With nowhere to turn and hanging on to a slither of hope, he camped at a place called Bethel, laid down for the night and dreamed a dream. In his dream, Jacob sees a ladder that reaches up to heaven, with angels ascending and descending upon it, and God firmly in charge at the top.
Jacob awakes from his dream and realizes that he is in a special place. “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” Jacob experienced the special presence of God in Bethel. God often reveals Himself to us when and where we least expect it. Jacob is no longer afraid of his brother, Esau, for a new kind of fear has struck him. This fear is a humble, holy reverence and awe for the Almighty God.
God is always near us; sometimes, much closer than we realize. We are continually surrounded by His loving presence and His protective arm of strength. God sometimes gives dramatic demonstrations of His presence; other times, He is quiet and still, but nonetheless, He is there. Jacob finds God right where he thought He would not be. Likewise, we too, will find God in places and in situations where we don’t think He is. Wherever we are in the world, whether at home or at work, in the city or in the country, we can be assured that God is there, and we can call upon Him and He will answer.
When and where God meets us with His special presence, we ought to be humble enough to meet Him with reverence and holy fear. He reveals His grace at unlikely moments, manifests Himself to those who desperately want to see Him, and resides in our hearts if we let Him. We may not meet God like Jacob did, but if we are open, willing, and humble in heart, God will show Himself to us, reassure us of His promises, and give us peace that His will for us will prevail.
Lord, we thank You for always being near us even when we don’t realize it and even when we can’t feel it. Like Jacob, in an attempt to run away from our problems, we often unintentionally run to You. However we come to You, You are always there with Your arms open wide ready to take us in and give us peace. Help us to be in awe of Your presence in our lives. Thank You for this blessed assurance. In Jesus’ name. Amen.