“Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” – Jacob (Gen. 28)
Note to Self: God is here, right now, in this place with me.
God is here right now with you. And let the record show that I base that truth of how I am “feeling” and how much I actually feel God. My emotions are not the best judge of whether or not God is the ‘Always Present.’ My emotions are as fickle as a 5 year old in the candy aisle.
But Jacob was speaking truth: for sure the Lord is in this place; and I seem to forget all too quickly. God is the ever Present albeit invisible Reality surrounding me right here. Sometimes it feels like God is nowhere to be found when the truth is God is Now Here.
What I love about this verse is the context of the story behind it. It was spoken of by Jacob, the one whole stole both his brothers’ birthright and blessing (Gen. 27). Jacob, the one whose name in Hebrew has several meanings including “heel” because Jacob followed Esau out of the womb holding his brothers’ heel. But it also means to circumvent, to usurp or steal. So Jacob, who after he wrestled the angel and become Isra’el, was the father of Israel and the father of the 12 sons who became the 12 tribes of Israel.
It was this Jacob, Jacob the Thief (i.e., the criminal), who failed to recognize the presence of God in the place where he was – a place he had stopped to rest as he was fleeing his angry brother who was seeking to kill him.
So, it was in the midst of trouble and trauma, caused by lying and deceit, that Jacob had a dream and saw the angels of the Lord and realized God was in this place. He did not recognize God in a sacred place, in the tabernacle or a church, but rather he recognized and experienced God’s presence while on the run from the consequences for his devious acts.
It was there, in his utter humanity, that he found and experienced the presence of God.
And so it will be with us sometimes.
God is at hand and miracles are everywhere. Everywhere God is, is in truth a miracle. God is closer to us than our very breath; God is in every breath we take. And because God dwells within…everything therefore becomes Holy Ground.