Do you have conversations with God? What do such conversations look like? Are you careful about what you say, how you express yourself, the emotions that you share with God, calibrating any anger or disappointment such that you aren’t disrespectful or hostile with God? If you get angry with God, do you withdraw, get sullen, cut back on church, worship, Bible studies or quiet times with God? Are you honest with God even if you don’t have a lot of faith or trust in God?
It’s interesting to think about our conversations with God because such conversations can show us some of our fundamental thoughts about God. I think it’s also helpful to look at other people’s conversations with God for contrasts and to also give us some ideas about different perspectives and ways that we could communicate with God. With this thinking, let’s look at our Jacob conversation in this blog series. Up to this point, we’ve looked at his conversations with his family, employer, and sibling in the previous blogs. For this post, we’ll look at his conversations with God to gain some ideas about how we can communicate with God at various seasons and stages in our lives.
In the first conversation we read about, where Jacob interacts with God, it’s the situation where Jacob is running away from his murder-threatening brother. During one of the nights of Jacob’s flight, he has a dream where he sees angels ascending and descending on a ladder and God tells Jacob that He’s going to look after and protect Jacob until he returns to his homeland. In the morning, Jacob wakes up and realizes that God was in that place (Peniel), and he hadn’t realized it. For us, let’s keep in mind that God can and does communicate with us in a variety of ways and sometimes we don’t recognize God’s communication until we look back.
In another conversation that Jacob had with God, we read about Jacob wrestling with the Angel of God the night before he is to meet with his brother, whom he hadn’t seen for about twenty years. During this wrestling match, Jacob’s name is changed to Israel, his hip gets permanently dislocated and he’s worn out from the all-night wrestling match. For us, let’s be open to the possibility that we might have some wrestling to do with God and when that happens, we will likely be changed and walk differently.
Finally, in another conversation that Jacob has with God toward the end of his life, God lets him know that it’s ok to move down to Egypt where Joseph, his son, will look after all of the family. For us, let’s be open to the possibility that God could have us make some major changes in our lives, maybe when we could be least inclined to make them.
As a final observation, it might help you to know that the majority of Jacob’s conversations with God happened at nighttime and not during broad daylight. Let’s consider that God could speak with us in some dark seasons and experiences in our lives. Happy conversing!