Between a Rock and a Hard Place
“Taking one of the stones of the place, Jacob put it under his head and lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.” Genesis 28:11-12
Sometimes Scripture can ask us for the most ridiculous things. Like accepting something we have no business enjoying.
We read the story of Jacob at Bethel and learn that, as he rest his head upon a bed of a rock, he had a magnificent, life-changing dream, a vision of heaven. Wow!
Where can I get one of those rocks? Do I need one? Do I have to find a Bethel-like rock to answer my deepest questions and have an encounter with God’s holy angels?
Of course, Jacob had no idea. He didn’t know that, as he lay down in such exhaustion, as he surveyed a dreary, dry landscape with nary a soft piece of vegetation upon which he could lay his head for rest, he might encounter messengers of the Living God. Instead, in his darkest, scariest moment, as he fled to a place he probably would never have chosen on his own, he lay on a rock and found…God.
It could be that you are there. Maybe someone who matters a whole lot to you is there. It could be that you are standing in an arid plain and see nothing but sharp edges and hard surfaces. If this is you or someone you love, know this:
God doesn’t need a comfortable spot. God doesn’t need a bed of luxurious linens. Instead, God can, and will, go anywhere you need God to be. And, while you’re there, God has a vision for you, a way to reach into the very heavens for just the restoration you need.
God, I thank you for the soft places. But I’m so grateful that you can bring me comfort in the space between a rock and a hard place. Amen.
Kaji Douša is the Pastor of The Park Avenue Christian Church, a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, in New York City.