“Master your son has heard of your illness and has hastened to visit you,” with a curt bow the servant exited the tent and walked across the dusty clearing and disappeared behind another tent.
“Good” replied the tired old man
Jacob had never felt so tired in his whole life. The last few days have been long haunting. Faintly he remembered the long journey he made from Beersheba to Paddan-Aram; however, he had the incentive of an angry brother to drive him quickly through the country. He remembered the confusion of the dream but the vivid imagery would forever be seared in his memory. The sound of the angel’s heavy breathing as they climbed the latter up and down and up and down again. The sight of heaven and the look of the ladder descending to earth, all so real and yet unreal at the same time. If only I knew the full meaning and depth behind the vow I made.
In a meadow, a world away, a much younger man was on his knees apparently out of breath and showing the marks and bruises of someone much older than himself. “God” the trembling lips were not confident or loud; instead the voice was sacred and tired. One would think that when talking to God you should stand and yell your request to God like he might be deaf in one ear or something. This man could not summon the strength to stand let alone look in the direction of heaven. “If…. if you help on this path that I am on and you deliver me safely to my destination, God?” Could he even make a request to God at this point? Would God listen to a deceiver a liar a sinner? Loneliness and despair invaded Jacob’s heart and began marching death and depression around his mind and heart. Invisible roots and vines began to ensnare and trap him, around and around weaving into his skin, his clothing, his eyes and mouth. “Please bring me back God, bring me back in peace.” Peace was not what he was feeling; peace was the exact opposite of what was in him. Fear of his brother finding him, and at any moment rushing from under the shade or those trees and killing him like some wounded animal. Could it be that bad, I do deserve whatever hatred he must have for me, I deserve to die here and now. I deserve to be forgotten for what I have done to my brother, my father. Almost in a whisper “Then you will be my LORD God and I,” could I actually uphold my end of this covenant? Then again I will most likely not see the morning, “I will be your man.” Peace. Nothing but quiet was the response. Even the birds and wind, with their silence, recognized the power and grace of the covenant that was struck just then. Jacob found no resistance when he lifted his head, no vines ensnaring him. Nothing was heard but the sound of heart beating against his chest; every thump..thump….thump was a reassurance that God not only listened but he accepted. It wasn’t till years later that Jacob realized that it was in God’s acceptance that the truly hard trials awaited.