What Are You Doing Here, God?

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Like many of us Jacob was running hard from one place to another. Never mind the thing from which he was running . . . or even where he was going. Who of us can really ever keep up with all the reasons for a fast pace (think carpool, soccer games, trips to Grandma’s, business meetings, fishing trips, trips to church, etc.)? The fact is—he was just moving fast.

But it was in the midst of this that he did something most unusual. He stopped and rested! Notice how Genesis 28:11 presents it: he stopped for the night because the sun had set . . . and lay down to sleep.

It is here that we must pay careful attention. While asleep, God confronted Jacob. He dreamed of a stairway resting upon the earth and reaching into Heaven. On it he saw angels ascending and descending, and at the top stood the Lord with a message for Jacob. Among the significant things the Lord said was that He was with Jacob wherever Jacob went. “I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you,” God told Jacob (v. 15). Amazingly, in this supposedly quiet resting stop Jacob was surprised to discover God was there waiting on him.

I can almost guarantee you that if you were to stop cold in your tracks and enjoy even a brief moment of rest you too would discover that God is waiting there for you. The advantages of such reprieves are terrific. Consider some of these for a moment:

Quietness facilitates listening to God. Many of us are convinced God is through with us and never wants to interact with us again. Not so! We don’t believe He is engaged with us because we do not stop to listen with the ear of faith to His Spirit’s voice. The Scriptures, that gentle nudging in our souls—these are ways God speaks to us. But we won’t hear if we don’t stop.

Stopping also aids in our ability to worship and remember our God. It helps us to focus are affections so that they are not piecemeal and shallow. It allows us to think about the One who is our God. We always respond better to Him when we can quiet our minds long enough to contemplate Him.

Quietness helps us to consider our priorities. It gives us the chance to survey the landscape of our lives to see what is really important and what can be dismissed. Frankly, most of us need to do some serious dismissing of things that occupy our time and energy. But we could never get to this point if we don’t stop—even for a moment.

Jacob applied some of these considerations. Genesis 28:18 and following tell us that he heard God, worshiped God and then made commitments to God that reflected the reality of his time with God. I think you and I ought to do this as well—perhaps today!

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