Today’s reading was Genesis 28, which tells of Jacob leaving for Harran to find a wife:
10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”
The phrase which caught my attention was “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”
How many times is that true of us? We restrict our awareness of God to times that we are being intentionally spiritual, perhaps our devotional times or a church service, but the truth is, he is here, with us, right now. It’s all too easy to create the sacred/secular divide in our lives, and to compartmentalize. We may worship our Lord with hearts full of love on Sunday, and then treat our coworkers with disdain and talk behind their backs on Monday.
Surely the LORD was in my office, my school, my home, my sports ground, and I was not aware of it.
The German theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) spoke of the Christian life in terms of “God-consciousness” and described Jesus as the most perfectly God-conscious man that ever lived.
The challenge for us, in the midst of the mundane and the everyday, is to bring God to our consciousness. We can train ourselves to do this, perhaps with an alarm on our phone, or at the top of the hour, or whatever frequency we like, to remind ourselves that “God is in this place.”
I think this will have two results. One is that we will remember that we are not alone. However stressed, overworked, abandoned we may feel, this is a reminder that we are not alone. Jesus promised that he would never leave us or forsake us.
The second is that we can acknowledge that God may already be at work in the life of our prickly co-worker, already softening his heart in preparation for you sharing the gospel with him one day. And in the meantime, as his behavior continues to irritate you, you can whisper quietly to yourself, “This is a man God loves.”
We know that there are “Bring your son/daughter to work” days scheduled in some corporations. Today my challenge to you is “Bring your God to work” and you may be surprised to find that He was already there.