“Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, ‘I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.’ Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.’ And he was afraid and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.’
“So early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of the city was Luz at the first.” Genesis 28:10-19a
Hard-headed Jacob, en route to find a wife as his father had prescribed, is met by the Lord. He was arrested by His pursuing and attentive love, His angels descending and ascending the ladder to heaven, showing the way to God. His powerful Name, specifying the promises He would surely fulfill. His abiding presence that would forever secure and keep, guide and comfort. And Jacob recognized Him as his covenant LORD, anointing the place of meeting awesome. Awesome as this grace, this measureless bounty, this benediction.
When we have petrified to hardness of heart or head, we need the Lord’s intervention. We may be headed out in what we think is obedience, but are limited by stubbornly-held personal dictates, agendas, or preferred methods. We may have settled into rigidity in a relationship, where we are unwilling to budge, or actually listen and understand another view, or learn to express love in an unfamiliar but needed way. Maybe we have barred shut our availability to people or situations difficult to deal with, and God wants to open the door so His light can break through. He intends to make our rocky places gateways to heaven as we hope and trust and grow in Him.
What might we need to put to rest, in order to be awakened to a fresh relationship where He calls the shots? What hard ground of resistance will we bring to meet Christ’s tender love and grace? In what attitudes or decisions will we welcome His transforming, enlightening Word?
Father, may my every resolve be guided and tenderized by awe of You. Grant heavenly vision, hope, and strength for every step here on earth.