He had to leave his family. His brother might kill him. He had to keep safe from his brother. He was a trickster: he had tricked his brother and father. He was untrustworthy, greedy, and on the run.
His father had opened the Gate of Heaven for him. His father had connected him to the Gate of Heaven. However, he was yet to see the Gate of Heaven, all by himself. The time has not come as yet.
After his own treachery, he must have been lonely, afraid to face the judgment of humanity. May be, meeting with God, only God, would help him in his situation. He needed to prove that he was worthy of the blessings bestowed upon him.
He hoped to reinvent himself far from home. Panting on his way, he ran not to look back until he reached a safe distance. Darkness has descended on his way. He was tired, exhausted.
He looked around, found a flat stone, and used it as a pillow. He slept there and he had a dream. In his dream, he saw the angels of walking up and down stretching from his makeshift bed to the gate of heaven. The Lord talked to him in his sleep.
“Surely, the Lord is in this place. And I was not aware of it. …….This is none other than the house of God; this is the Gate of Heaven” he said, thrilled and afraid. (Genesis 28:16, 17)
Yes, Jacob, the son of Isaac, the grandson of Abraham, it was him we were talking about.
In his most unlikely phase of journey, the Lord met him. He renamed the place, the city of Luz, as Bethel. Bethel meaning, ‘the house of God’ in Hebrew. In other words, Jacob was saying ‘God is here!’
Here, in the life of Jacob, we wanted to reiterate the omnipresence of God and meeting him. In his later life, Jacob even wrestled with God. He was a man whom God met often.
Looking around the world, men seek God and found God in their most unlikely situation. In loneliness, poverty, sickness, or let’s say, in difficult times, men seek God more than before. To those who seek Him, He really gives them comfort that the world cannot give.
When our life was sailing smooth, we sometimes, do not need Him much. Yet He was there taking care of us. God is everywhere but we have some special place to talk to Him.
For some, it might be that lonely Prayer Cabin. For some other, it might be their Place of Worship. That quiet Washroom in the corner might be the place for some to talk to Him. We are blessed to be His sons and daughters, by the blood of Christ, who can talk to Him anytime anywhere, more than to our father here on earth.
My father and mother led us to a place of prayer when we are young. I remember my father spending long hours inside the prayer cabin. I used to wonder what my father was praying for. Why my father could spent long hours inside the cabin? By now, I could understand the joy of spending time there.
In our difficult times, when something troubled us, father led us to the prayer cabin – the place he called as our Bethel, to let know the crisis to God. Although our problems did not get solved instantly, we can have peace of mind in everything when we are done visiting our Bethel.
We might not be blessed as Jacob in our Bethel but we can really rely on Him. Many of those unwanted events; our business not taking off, the crop failing, and many more, lead us to seek his presence in our life.
At some point in our life, we wanted to reinvent ourselves. How we try and reinvent could be different. But reinventing without meeting our creator might not be meaningful at all. Reinventing without God would be worst than before when we fall.
Surely, there is someone who’d meet us in any circumstances. That Bethel – the House of God, could be in our heart.
Even when we did not notice God is here with us. Leading us on our path or making us fall for our own benefit.
In that very quiet place, in that pit where we fall, in that hopelessness, we can hear His voice: Giving us the will to go on as long as it takes, till we meet Him face to face.
Our situation might be better or worse than the Biblical Jacob but in everything He is here with us. In the face and challenges of life, we will not be left alone. We could enjoy meeting often because He is here!
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you’”, declares Christ the Lord. (John 14:18)
Jacob was never left alone throughout his pilgrimage. The Lord, he met on his way, was always with him.
© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.