A friend of mine shared a story about an interesting “test” she had one day in her psychology class. The professor wanted to prove how easy it is for our carnal brain to fool us. So he showed a video and told them to pay attention to a specific activity that was taking place. But meanwhile, what they didn’t see was a random person dressed in a monkey suit had entered all the action! Almost every person in the class got fooled because they were so focused on what they were told to focus on, that they totally missed what was walking into the center of the scene.
When she told me about this, I was reminded about a story in the Bible about a man named Jacob. Jacob had “stolen” his brother Esau’s birthright blessing by portraying to be Esau to his blind father who was about to die, and therefore received a blessing that was not intended for him. After Esau found out what happened, he made a plan to take revenge on Jacob and kill him. So in fear for his life, Jacob fled and ran away from home. One night while he was still on the run, he went to sleep and had a great dream of a stairway going up into heaven. And in the dream God said to him that he would bless the land and his descendants and always be with them and watch over them. When Jacob woke up from the dream, he said out loud “Surely the Lord is in this place and I was not aware of it!” (Genesis 28:16)
Honestly, up until a couple years ago, I think I was exactly like Jacob – completely unaware of the Lord’s presence in my life. I think we have all been guilty of that before. Right? We’ve been so focused on everything going on around us, that we completely miss who is standing in the center of the scene. Imagine how awful it would be to live your whole life too busy to see the Lord, only to discover after the fact that He had been right there in front of you all along. And He’s not just there with us only in the big stuff. He’s there with us in the small stuff too. Even the mundane everyday stuff that we consider to be routine. Washing the dishes? Yep! He’s there. Driving to work? Yep! He’s there! Singing in the shower? Yep! He’s there! Grocery shopping? Yep! He’s there too! God is so genuinely interested in every single aspect of our lives. If only we slowed down for a second and just acknowledged Him, we would probably have a Jacob moment and realize that He was there all along and we just weren’t aware of it.
But there’s something else about this story that amazes me… Jacob was on the run because he did something that was no doubt, very selfish and wrong. Yet God still chose to reveal Himself to Jacob even after he committed a terrible sin against his father and brother. I can only imagine how scared and alone Jacob must have been feeling at the time, and probably pretty guilty too. But God still came to him in a dream and reassured him of His presence and His faithfulness! It doesn’t matter what we have done in our past, or what we are going through right now – God wants to reveal himself to us! He wants to show up on the scene and remind us that we are loved and special to him. He wants us to be aware of his presence and to know that He will never leave us or forsake us.
What will it take for God to get you to acknowledge his presence today? Because whether you are aware of it or not, surely He has been right there with you all along.