“Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” Genesis 28:16-17
In a very real sense, the hours of our lives only become reality in retrospect; they become present only when they have already past. We never really understand how meaningful an event is until it has already happened. It is only when creation is complete that we can look at it and say that is has all be very good.
Jacob had been going through a time of great suffering. He was on the run, and far away from home. He had no house, no friends, no rest or strength. Night was falling on his life, and the only thing he had was a stone for a pillow. He felt completely forsaken by God. It was as if the Lord had taken flight from his life and left him all alone in the wilderness. He said to himself that the Lord didn’t care for, didn’t watch over, him and so he laid down and slept a very sorrowful sleep.
He woke, however, to discover that he had been completely wrong in his assessment of his situation. Instead of being far from God, he found that he’d never been more near to Him. In the hour that He thought that he was all alone, he discovered that angels had been watching over him, and the presence of the Lord was all around him. He had unknowingly become the recipient of a tremendous blessing, and now he longed for nothing more than to return to that time that he had loathed. The Lord had been in that place, and he hadn’t even realized it.
How many times has this been true in your life? How often have you thought, in the midst of your sorrow, that the Lord had left you all alone? How many times have you slept in sorrow and wished to never wake up? But, when you woke you found that the darkness you dreaded was nothing more than a delusion. The Lord had been right there with you all along.
Your aspirations must not only be for the future, but for the glory of those things that have already past. You must realize that even your yesterdays were very good. You must discover the glory that is inherent in the path that the Lord has led you, and be able to say of the tears you’ve shed and toil you’ve endured, that this was Heaven’s gate!