Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Inbetween times

Through the Bible in 90 days: Day 3

Read Genesis 28-39

Verse that stood out: "So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak" Genesis 32:24.

Let me begin today by saying that the main thing I notice from today's reading is that the characters in the Bible are a bunch of screwballs. Anyone who speaks longingly of biblical family values hasn't been paying very close attention to the families of the Bible. They're pretty dysfunctional!

On a more pastoral sounding note - I was struck by the fact that Jacob's two significant encounters with God happen while he is on the move. The first one, the dream at Bethel, happens as he is fleeing Esau and headed to Laban's house. The second, the wrestling with God at Jabbok, happens on the return trip. Jacob is leaving/fleeing Laban and preparing to encounter Esau for the first time since stealing his blessing. Both are in-between times. That is, both are times of uncertainty, fear, anxiety. And yet, both become places where God shows up in miraculous ways.

I don't know about you, but I hate the ambiguity of an in-between place. These places which are really no place, places without names. I hate not feeling at home somewhere. I hate the uncertainty of not knowing what comes next. Truthfully, I hate the way in-between places uncover my lack of control over life itself. And yet, as I look back on my own life, like Jacob, I have discovered God most often during these times of uncertainty and unrest. Maybe the vulnerability of those moments leaves us more open to hearing from God? Maybe its the absence of false hopes that have us wide open to meeting Hope, himself? I don't know. What I do know is that I should probably spend less of my time attempting to control all of the circumstances in my life and spend more time on the lookout for God. For when it's all said and done, all of this life is an in-between place, and we're just passing through until we're at home with him.


Patrick said...

Thanks for this. It was timely.

Patrick said...
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