Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house; and of all that you give me I will surely give one-tenth to you. — Genesis 28:20
Jacob was alone. After tricking his brother, Esau, out of his birthright and father’s blessing, he had to flee. Out in the desert he makes a vow to God. If God will deliver him to a place of safety, he will be a faithful follower.
We have all felt alone and even deserted in life. The power of faith is that it is experienced more acutely when we are jostled about than in times when we are settled. The wonderful thing about our relationship with God is that God does not show up just when we are at our best or most obedient. It is when we are wrong, when we have made mistakes and even sinned, that God is ever-present. If we dedicate ourselves to God, God’s promises will be delivered.
There are times when we are happy where we are. We have everything we need, and our plans include staying right where we are. But Lent is a time to remember that God has other plans and calls us to go to places where we do not want to go. Sometimes God even calls us into a desert wilderness. Wherever we are led, God blesses us with inner strength to do the things we are uncertain we can accomplish. He also promises that He will remain close to us as we set out on uncharted waters. God’s vision for our lives is greater than our own. God’s purposes for our lives enable us to accomplish great achievements that help others in their struggles. We must trust in God, even when God calls us to do the impossible — far from our area of comfort and security.
Written by: Jimmie Hawkins