Before I closed my gunky, swollen eye last night, I read a devotion that spoke to my heart. The timing, of course, was perfect.
Genesis 28:10-22 talks about Jacob leaving Beersheba for Haran and having a good night's sleep with his head resting upon a rock. There he dreamed of a ladder going from earth to heaven. In the dream, God made promises to bless him, protect him and be with him always.
When Jacob awoke, he made a promise to God. He wanted to trust God's protection and provision. So he built the foundation of a city on the rock that was his pillow. And he promised to give God one-tenth of all he has.
Ann Voskamp tied this Old Testament story to the Christmas season beautifully.
'Tis the season to be going! Banquets and reunions, concerts and plays, caroling and parties. The calendar squares nearly bulge with dates and times, people and places and we read of a man headed home who slept on a stone on the way and had the best sleep of his life.
Because Jacob saw the ladder, and Jesus, that Christmas child coming to us. He alone is our ladder and we have no way to heave but by the rungs of Christ.
And God, He whispers to us the best gift of all: "I am with you and will protect you everywhere you go ... I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised."
God is with us in this season of coming and going and God is with us in these places through we knew it not, at our tables and in our cars and down our street and in the unlikeliest, unexpected places, even in a place like the manger of a barn and we meet God today in a thousand places. ...
God is with me every morning when I'm getting three of us ready to get out the door.
God is with me when I'm making a Christmas mix to listen to in my car so I can think about that not-so silent night thousands of years ago.
God is with me when I'm waiting in line at the Post Office to mail three packages, two bills and a Netflix DVD.
God is with me when I return the "Merry Christmas" greeting to the slouched-over Santa Claus, who was lounging in his seat next to a table of juice boxes waiting for kids to visit him in front of the hospital pharmacy.
God is with me when I'm packing my purse and gathering what we'll need for this party and then that party.
God is with me in the relationships that will be celebrated at these parties that my family loves this time of the year.
And God is with me when it's no longer the Christmas season. He's with you too. Here's to noticing the Creator, the Ultimate Planner, the Ladder, who came to earth as a baby boy, in our life.