10Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. 11He came to a certain place and stayed there for the 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. 12And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And the LORD stood beside him 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; 14and 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 all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. 15Know that 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.” 16Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place — and I did not know it!” 17And 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.”
18So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he 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. 19aHe called that place Bethel;
Have you been afraid you would never be good enough for God? Some people worry about this, even those who go on to become clergy. In fact, a clergy friend of mine, who did not grow up in the church, was afraid of church and the Bible because she thought all the people of God were so very good – so very perfect. She thought she could never belong because she was not good enough!
When she finally read the Old Testament, it gave her great hope because she found herself saying – “I can do better than that!” She could do better than stealing a birthright and having to escape across the wilderness so that her brother would not kill her. This is just one of many stories about people who made mistakes and yet loved God and were still loved by God. The Bible is full of flawed people, many of whom did things much worse than you ever will.
Afraid for his life because of his trickery, Jacob dreamed of a ladder that sat on earth and rose into heaven. This dream gave him great peace and comfort, revealing to him that God was with him, even in the middle of nowhere, even in a site that may have been a sacred place for pagan people. Dreams in the Bible frequently reveal a message from God.
There are three messages here: one, God is with Jacob, even in this unknown territory. Two, God communicates through dreams. Three, God’s presence is a blessing. God would stay with Jacob and see him through all the hard times – and there were many.
These three things are true for you as well.
God is with you. God can communicate with you — sometimes in your dreams. And God’s presence is a blessing in your life.
If you want to know more about God communicating through dreams, I commend to you a wonderful book: Dreams, God’s Forgotten Language by John A. Sanford. Sanford says that God is still communicating with us. When we are too busy or distracted to listen, God sends us dreams.
Just as my tile path through my backyard is broken, our lives can also be broken. We are not perfect but we are good enough. This path is good enough to provide a place to walk so that our shoes do not get muddy in those rare occasions that it rains here at the edge of the Wild Horse Desert.
The crack in this tile has allowed a small and delicate flower to grow and delight the eye. Your cracks and imperfections may allow something just as delicate to delight those around you. Perhaps that crack is what God will use to bring you a message.
Do not be intimidated! You, my friend, are good enough!
God bless you for reading.