8 July 2019
Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. When he had reached a certain place he passed the night there, since the sun had set. Taking one of the stones to be found at that place, he made it his pillow and lay down where he was. He had a dream: a ladder was there, standing on the ground with its top reaching to heaven; and there were angels of God going up it and coming down. And the Lord was there, standing over him, saying, ‘I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac. I will give to you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants shall be like the specks of dust on the ground; you shall spread to the west and the east, to the north and the south, and all the tribes of the earth shall bless themselves by you and your descendants.
Be sure that I am with you; I will keep you safe wherever you go, and bring you back to this land, for I will not desert you before I have done all that I have promised you.’ Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Truly, the Lord is in this place and I never knew it!’ He was afraid and said, ‘How awe-inspiring this place is! This is nothing less than a house of God; this is the gate of heaven!’ Rising early in the morning, Jacob took the stone he had used for his pillow, and set it up as a monument, pouring oil over the top of it. He named the place Bethel, but before that the town was called Luz.
Jacob made this vow, ‘If God goes with me and keeps me safe on this journey I am making, if he gives me bread to eat and clothes to wear, and if I return home safely to my father, then the Lord shall be my God. This stone I have set up as a monument shall be a house of God.’
While Jesus was speaking, up came one of the officials, who bowed low in front of him and said, ‘My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her and her life will be saved.’ Jesus rose and, with his disciples, followed him. Then from behind him came a woman, who had suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years, and she touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, ‘If I can only touch his cloak I shall be well again.’ Jesus turned round and saw her; and he said to her, ‘Courage, my daughter, your faith has restored you to health.’ And from that moment the woman was well again.
When Jesus reached the official’s house and saw the flute-players, with the crowd making a commotion he said, ‘Get out of here; the little girl is not dead, she is asleep.’ And they laughed at him. But when the people had been turned out he went inside and took the little girl by the hand; and she stood up. And the news spread all round the countryside.
My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her and her life will be saved.
A few weeks ago, I was talking to a friend and I was complaining that I feel that God is making me go through an Abraham moment – that is, being finally given something that shows the fulfilment of God’s promise to him, and then being asked to offer up it up. Abraham was promised that he would be the father of all nations and that it would happen through his own son, with his lawful wife. Then Isaac came. But then, God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. If I were Abraham, I would be doubting God and his intention. Why would he want me to sacrifice the son who was supposed to be the fulfilment of his promise to me?
My friend then told me that Abraham believed that God could raise people from the dead. Abraham believed that nothing is impossible with God, so he was able to offer Isaac.
Of course, my situation is not a matter of life and death, but having my friend tell me that made me reflect on how gripped with fear I was that the light of my faith is being covered with the darkness of my fears.
Today’s reading reminded me once again that God can raise people from the dead. God can do what I would deem impossible. God can reverse any situation, God can heal whatever is broken, God can restore relationships, God can do anything. And if God is not doing it, it is because He is doing something greater than we can imagine.
I’m not sure when it was no longer instinctive of me to feel that nothing is impossible with God. And I am deeply humbled when people chastise me for complaining more than I am praying. Perhaps, it is because I’ve forgotten that anything is possible with our God, so long as it is for the best thing that could ever happen to us.
Miracles happen. And I pray all of us will have that child-like instinct to strust God, and His love for us.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)
Prayer: Dearest Lord God, please write it in my heart that you are a God of miracles. That nothing is impossible with you. And that you love me beyond all measure and that everything that happens is for my good, even if I do not know it.
Thanksgiving: Thank you, Lord, for daily miracles, even if I don’t notice them.