I recently preached on Genesis 28, the story of Jacob’s Ladder. It is a great story. Jacob was a ladder climber, in a sense. He was climbing the ladder of success in all the wrong ways. He was trying to make it in the world by getting things through lying and cheating. Like the older son’s birthright, and then the blessing of Isaac. When that didn’t work for him and Esau wanted to kill him, Jacob decided run–to leave and start over.
He lacked integrity. He had not developed good character qualities. Yet God saw something good in him and met him in a dream. God’s grace began the process of changing Jacob. That is certainly what the ladder bridging the gap between heaven and earth implies–God coming to us and meeting us where we are.
God does not give up on us when others give up on us or we give up on ourselves. God can see the best in us when all we see is our flaws, failures and mistakes. God showed Jacob a better ladder, the ladder of grace. The reality of God’s presence and love with us in the midst of our darkest night.
Jacob had little food and hardly any worldly possessions. His pillow for the night was a stone. His lie was a mess. That is when God became personal and real to Jacob. Jacob became the father of the twelve tribes of Israel and learned to wrestle with and trust God. Sometimes it is through the trials and tough times of life that we finally hear and sense God’s presence with us and for us.
Have you experienced God’s presence with you? Have you experienced His love changing and forming you to be more gentle and Christlike? My prayer is that you are listening and following!