As I’ve been working my way through Genesis, Jacob’s ladder has been very much on my mind. I’ve always wondered about the meaning of Jacob’s dream.
The answer I’ve settled on is rather simple: It was the moment Jacob first felt the presence of God in a powerful way. Jacob responds: “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” He marked the place with a stone, and poured oil on top of the rock.
Why that moment? Jacob was at a crisis point in his life. He had just tricked his father into giving him his brother’s blessing and his brother wanted to kill him. He was running away to a safer place until his brother’s anger had passed. And it was in this moment that God met him and blessed him. Angels ministered to him and brought comfort and protection. What’s both astounding and at the same time so very real, when Jacob encountered God, he met a loving, caring presence. He met grace.
It’s so real because when you ask others what it’s like to encounter the presence of God, they will often share similar moments where they felt intensely loved, blessed, protected, under God’s care, and awe-struck in a way that’s hard to explain, much like Jacob and his dream. And it can happen anywhere. In the previous post, Melissa shared her experience of God’s presence with her in her car in a Walmart parking lot. The memory of those special, intense moments carries us through our more ordinary experiences, reminding us of God’s faithfulness and love.