When Jacob woke from his sleep, he thought to himself, the Lord is definitely in this place, but I didn’t know it. Genesis 28:16 CEB
In Genesis 28, Jacob has a dream where God tells him that he will neither leave nor forsake Jacob. God promises to deliver on his promises to Jacob. Inspired by this realization, Jacob sets up a humble altar and makes a vow. He says that if God delivers on his promises, Jacob will go to his father’s home in peace, he will declare that the Lord shall be his God, and that he will give a tithe to the Lord on all that he owns.
Not so much.
Jacob continues to be a bit of a tricky trickster. He has conflict with his kinfolk. He eventually flees with his family and flock when the conflict becomes completely unmanageable. He worries about a reunion with his twin brother Esau, who he swindled out of his rightful inheritance in previous chapters. And to top things off, he wrestles with God one night, demanding a blessing from God in chapter 32 as if having God show up in a dream in Genesis 28 wasn’t enough reassurance for him!
We humans are forgetful folk.
Today, think about how messy Jacob’s life was. I bet yours has its moments too! I know I personally am a messy mix of faith and fear. Instead of demanding perfection from yourself and others, what if we sought – together – to notice that God is in this place. This place. Right here. Smack in the middle of your life. What would your life be like if you believed this were true?