Genesis 28:12 Jacob 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.
I had a dream last night that troubled me. It was a mixture of the past, present, and future. When I look back on it this morning, I realize that there were many symbols in the dream of what I care about most. I won’t go into details because I’m still pondering over what it means, but it has left me unsettled.
I’m no interpreter of dreams, but I know that they have a way of bringing our hopes and fears to the surface. I can still remember a few dreams from childhood that terrified me, as well as a couple of dreams from adolescence that solidified my faith in God. Even although it has been decades since those dreams occurred, they are still with me, which mystifies me at times. Why would something that didn’t really happen still stay within my heart and mind?
Jacob’s dream in Genesis 28:10-15 was amazing. He was on the run from his brother who wanted to murder him and from his father who would have cursed him. He didn’t have a place to call home and no doubt he was carrying a lot of fears and troubles within him. We can only guess how those traumatic circumstances affected his faith in God. He was at the lowest point in his long life. If ever he needed a sign or a symbol of reassurance, then this was the time that God had to show Jacob that He was real.
So Jacob dreamt of a stairway to heaven with angels ascending and descending upon it. He was apparently at the mystical point where Heaven and Earth actually meet. And then he heard the great voice of God confirming the covenant that had been made with his father and grandfather. God was personally reassuring Jacob that his life had a purpose and that the LORD’s promises would be fulfilled through this runaway. It was the most important crossroads in Jacob’s life. From that point on, he personally knew that God was always with him.
I believe that God still speaks to us in dreams, simply because the world cannot interfere or cause distractions in the middle of them. I firmly believe that God also takes a deep personal interest in each of our lives, so that when we ask Him for guidance, assurance, and a calling, He will listen to our hearts and speak to us in our dreams. Perhaps, in the midst of all of the pressures, stresses, and troubles that we presently endure, the best advice may just be this: sleep on it.
Questions for personal reflection
When and how do I hear God speaking to my heart and mind? Do I really listen to what He is saying to me?
Prayer: Lord God, through the blessing of Your Son Jesus Christ, we know that You are with us each day until the fullness of our lives and the end of all Time. Speak to our hearts and minds this day and help us to actually hear Your voice. Give us a calling of our hearts and a mission of Christ’s work. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s image is one of John’s latest sunflower drawings. It’s called “Garden Glory.” A larger version can be viewed at the following link: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8281/7607009436_906976cd09_b.jpg