Today’s Word: ‘Surely’ … as in “Surely the LORD is in this place—and I did not know it!”
There’s a fascinating story in the Hebrew scriptures about a man name Jacob. He’s on the run. Jacob is avoiding his brother Esau who hates him because Jacob tricked his father, Isaac, into agreeing that Jacob could be in charge of the land of Canaan when Isaac died. It should have been Esau’s job. He was born first. So when Esau realized he’d been duped, he goes ballistic, then goes after Jacob. So Jacob takes the back road to Haran. He stops for the night and uses a rock for a pillow. He falls asleep and has a dream. Of course he has a dream. That’s the way these things work. In his dream, Jacob receives a powerful promise from God:
“Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
When Jacob wakes up he says, “Surely the LORD is in this place—and I did not know it!”
Let’s just stop right there. Let me ask you: Could there possibly be a place where God is not? Go ahead. I’ll wait…
The temptation is to only connect God’s presence and activity with “the big things.” You know, like big rescues, big happenings, big super-sized unexplainable events that are so big only God could be in them. But when we do that, we miss out on God’s presence in all of the little things as well.
I’ll say it plainly: there is no place where God is not. So in this story when we’re told that “Jacob wakes up from his sleep” that just might point to the truth that Jacob “woke up” to the fact that God was always with him. We often ask, “Where did you see God show up?”
Maybe the real question is whether or not we are showing up to what God is already doing.