Mysteries of the Nighttime
Jacob was having a bad day. A very, very bad day. His brother Esau was spitting mad, and coming after Jacob with 400 men!
Jacob tried to protect his family (two wives, two maids, eleven children) by sending them across the river Jabbok. Then he spent the night and waited to see what would happen.
Sometimes strange things happen at night. Jacob was sleeping rough, and he would encounter a strange man – an angel from God – who wrestled with him all night until daybreak! That’s a lot of wrestling.
I have had a few nights like that – wrestling with a decision, a terrible event; wrestling with myself, and with God. Maybe you have, too. Strange things can happen in the nighttime. Our true, vulnerable selves seem very exposed: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Dreams can be disturbing. We may feel very alone, scared, even terrified. We may feel exhausted, unable to take another step forward.
But these night journeys are thin places – places where the boundary between ourselves and God are very thin and porous. Strange, sometimes wonderful encounters can occur. That’s what happened with Jacob – he ended up marked forever with a limp…and also with a blessing.
How might God be present – and speaking – with you during the dark hours of the night? JBM