"Surely the Lord is in this place.” We often sense the Lord’s presence in places of serenity and security. But what happens when the scenery changes—when the serene and secure become tumultuous waves of uncertainty, doubt, or fear? When the bills can’t be paid, or the consequences of sin run deep, or your hopes and dreams for the future have been shattered?
Genesis 28 describes just such a place for a man named Jacob. Pursued by a brother ravaged with hate and bent on murder, Jacob’s mind must have reeled with hopelessness and regret as he realized the high price of his deception. It’s not hard to imagine the thoughts of “what-if” and “if-only” tormenting his mind as he drifted off to sleep this particular night. But, a dramatic change occurs in Jacob’s perspective as dawn breaks:
Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it. How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God and this is the gate of heaven(Genesis 28:15-16).
The place of desperation, despair, and defeat had been transformed into a place of indescribable hope! The circumstances hadn’t changed. The people involved hadn’t changed. Yet Jacob’s thinking was significantly altered by something. What was it?
Jacob saw Jesus! And in the midst of a dark reality, hope was reborn! Courage increased as Jacob heard these words:
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.
Jacob encountered the very Person who has the power to transform my thinking and yours today. Because of the life and work of Jesus, “this place” is not beyond hope. Jesus is right here and it’s in “this place” where He wants to display His transforming power. He’s still the Redeemer and the Deliverer!
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable years of the Lord(Luke 4:18-19).
No wonder Jacob could boldly proclaim “How awesome is this place.” Are you facing the challenges of “this place” today? Can you see the power and presence of Jesus right there with you?