On Earth As It Is In HeavenBlog / Produced by The High Calling
"A place," the Bible calls it. Nondescript, middle of nowhere, Scripture marks it only as the place where Jacob laid his head for a night's rest. It was the first stop on Jacob's flight from his brother and his journey to find his place in the world.
Behind him: deception. He'd stolen his brother's rightful inheritance and place.
Before him: the unknown. Hopefully a better life.
It's not that different from what most of us have behind and before us. We have ugly pasts, deceptions in our jobs and lives. We look forward to futures of accomplishments, significance in what we do. We want to affect the world in a meaningful way.
Fears fill our journeys. We fear the up and coming new graduate. If we're the new graduate, we fear not finding our place in this world. We fear job cuts. We fear the coworker who forms alliances and thrives on rumors like a candidate on Survivor.
So we pursue further education. We make ourselves indispensable to the company. We align ourselves with allies who'll fight with and for us.
We increase our sales. We work later nights.
Our eyes droop. Our strength wanes. Our bodies ache.
In that place, Jacob fell asleep.
And he dreamed.
In his dream, a stairway from earth reached the sky. Angels climbed up and down between God's kingdom and earth. At the top of the stairway stood the Lord who looked down to Jacob and said, "I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of your father Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the ground you are lying on" (Gen. 28:13, NET).
God met Jacob in that place. He revealed himself to Jacob and made promises only he could keep.
God reveals himself to us and makes promises to us, too. He doesn't promise that we'll never be fired or we'll always be prosperous. But he does promise to transform our lives if we give ourselves to him. He promises to transform the world around us.
He promises to transform our place.
When Jacob awoke, he renamed the place Bethel, which means "house of God." This was where God met him. An ordinary place was transformed by the presence of God.
As we cling to the Person and promise of God, the everyday things around us—our education and background, our careers, our interactions with coworkers, our daily reports—are transformed into tools for the service of God and his kingdom. Our ordinary, everyday places of work and life are infused with the presence of God. God transforms them to mark where heaven meets earth.