Then Jacob made a promise. He said, “I want God to be with me and to protect me on this journey. I want him to give me food to eat and clothes to wear so I will be able to return in peace to my father’s house. If the Lord does these things, he will be my God. Genesis 28:20-21
All of us are on a journey. Really.
But sometimes the unknowingness of the next step stares us in the face quite up close.
And last night I bought a ticket to New York City. Really three tickets. One there, two back. And this morning I am getting on a jet plane and headed into the sunrise to go pack up a few things from a very tired old apartment just off Central Park and pick up Uncle Jim at rehab and return to my father’s house.
And I am unlike Mr. Jacob.
Because I know. I have utter confidence in the LORD’s presence, like a thick cloud that will be with me in the sitting down and the standing up. And the little bits of getting ready this morning (check the bedroom closets for Max’s suit), and making all those phone calls (remember the charger), and maybe tucking in a package of wet wipes, and thinking back on my mind map of the New York subway system. And the conversations in luggage pick up lines. And maybe another walk along the river with Andrea.
And on Christmas morning, as I stood back next to the table piled high once again with golden platters of food and considered the rhythms of life. The sunrises and the sunsets. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter again. With the candles, and the stockings, and the fire in the fireplace, and the stack of wood by the couch, and coffee mugs set on every flat surface. And the star on the top of the tree, And the pell mell presence of so many ghosts of Christmases past. So many faces and stories and hopes and journeys. So many dreaming stones set up on end as a memorial; surely the LORD is in this place.
And God is with me. And He protects me. And He certainly gives me more than enough food and clothing. And I will return in peace to home. And I don’t have to make any bargains with God. Or any hypothesis If / Then statements. Because He has shown His face so many times before.
And His promise to Jacob I will take for my very own, I am with you and will protect you everywhere you go and will bring you back to this land. And when I swim backstroke while the sky is still dark, I can see bright stars of faithfulness. Reaching out from and time and space beyond my mortal comprehension as an early morning marker that He is bigger than my understanding.
And I got my brand new Tom boots on for walking.