Weekly Scripture: Genesis 28.10-19a
This Scripture passage is one of my favorites. I identify with Jacob and the ups and downs he experienced in his life – both spiritually and personally. Though I’ve never quite had a vision like he had, I have experienced those “thin places” where heaven and earth seem to meet or at least come closer to meeting than anywhere else or at any other time. What thin places or thin moments have you experienced, places or times in which you felt closest to God, in which you felt like you could touch the very glory of the heavens?
Looking at the image above, I think of how nice it would be to have a staircase or ladder or other climbing device to reach heaven whenever we wanted to. Of course, as in the picture, the way seems steep and perhaps we would be frightened from taking such a bold step. After all, don’t we already have access to the heavens through prayer? And isn’t prayer – true prayer where we dare to come honestly and vulnerably to God, open to listen to God’s voice and receive God’s messages to us – isn’t that kind of prayer just as dangerous and unnerving? When you have you experienced such an open, honest, and vulnerable experience of prayer? What did you hear from God in those moments? Such honest prayer takes courage and boldness.
Think about the Israelites who were scared to scale the mountain of God with Moses. They begged Moses to talk to God and then mediate the message to them. We read in Exodus 20: “Then the people stood at a distance, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.” Have you ever felt like standing at a distance from God? What was this experience like? Drawing near to God will change you, and sometimes it is easier to stay the same than to be changed by God. How is God shaping you in this season of life? Is there something God wants to do in your life that you are nervous about, some change that you are afraid of. Remember that God only seeks what is best for his children. The promise to Jacob is the promise for you. Though Jacob had to face many different struggles still ahead in his life, he could cling to the promise God gave him in this vision: “Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go…I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
In what ways do you sense God’s presence with you? What has God promised you in your life? How is God fulfilling those promises? Draw near to God. Take the risk and scale the heavens through prayer. The One who loves you is waiting to speak truth, healing, and grace into your soul.
Breath Prayer: LORD God, descend to us.