A stone for a pillow

Reading the book of Genesis, earlier on this week, I was struck again by just how faithful God is even when we mess up! Jacob, arguably the most famous schemer in the Bible, having plotted to cheat his brother Esau out of the all-important birthright, finds himself running to try and start a new life in the household of his uncle, Laban. He finds himself one night in a field, alone and trying to get comfy with a stone for a pillow; not my idea of fun! It’s a long way from the comfort and safety of home; I’m sure it wasn’t what he had in mind when he pursued his dad’s blessing!

At this point I’m reminded of that old saying: ‘Cheats never prosper.’ I still think that’s true, but I want to add: ‘God’s grace is still great!’ Jacob’s rehabilitation and road to repentance is enhanced by a heavenly dream he experienced in the field. God transformed that place of isolation into a place of connection, and the dream contains some of the most breath-taking words, including an echo of the promise first given to Abraham, ‘I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying,’ and finishes with, ‘I am with you and I will watch over you.’ (See Genesis 28.)

The reality is that we all get it wrong, sometimes subtly and other times dramatically; yet God’s grace is greater when we choose to come to him, confess and repent of our wrong-doing and centre again on the life Jesus has called us to live! There’s no need to run away, when running to him is always the right answer!