Devotional

“As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway. At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants . . . What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.” – Genesis 28:12,13,15. 

At some point in our life’s journey, we come to realize how inadequate we are to deal with all that life throws our way. At some point, we realize the things we fought so hard to attain or to achieve simply did not satisfy our desires or meet our expectations. Especially when there is a pandemic affecting the world. People seem to be working harder, competing for more, and clamoring for more stuff.  Yet others still aspire to a career and then discover that the career they envisioned has been replaced by long hours, a long commute, and heavy traffic. It affects their life, their marriages, their relationship with their kids. Peace seems to be a difficult thing to obtain.  

Look at the story of Jacob. In short, Jacob’s life was a mess. He had to leave home much earlier than planned because his brother Esau was so angry at him that he was comforting himself with the thought of murdering Jacob. As if looking over his shoulder was not enough, Jacob fled his homeland and found himself in unfamiliar surroundings. His pillow was a rock; the ground was his bed. He faced many dangers, and his only companion was his guilty conscience. Peace was nowhere to be found. 

That’s when the Lord revealed himself to Jacob in a dream, to bring Jacob the peace he desperately needed. In the dream, there was a stairway with angels going up and down. The Lord himself was at the top. He assured Jacob, “I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.” God gave Jacob the one thing that he could find nowhere else—peace. 

Feeling stuck in life or a situation can sometimes lead to isolation or confusion. At some point we realize we cannot fill the lingering void in our heart on our own. While the pursuits of pleasure, relationships, money, power, and other things may satisfy us for a short time, we ultimately find that the empty longing inside us always returns. It is at this point we discover the strength to fill this void can only come from the One who placed it there. We discover the love and the power of our risen Lord and Savior. We discover Jesus.

There are many challenges that confront us today.  There are many possibilities for being afraid, for there is plenty of fuel for fear in our world. And just like Jacob, peace is impossible for us to find—until we discover God’s gracious promises in Jesus. All sin is paid. We are forgiven through Christ. There may be questions, but in Christ, there is no question about where we stand with God and that true peace is found in Him. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you feel like you can’t ever find peace? Or that life is just too overwhelming? What can change all that?   
  2. What can you do this week to be anxious for nothing?