The Ladder to Heaven

Read: Genesis 28:10-22

This is the gate of heaven. (v. 17)

Do you ever struggle to see God’s hand at work in dark and difficult seasons? I certainly do. When life gets hard, my vision shrinks from seeing God’s bigger purpose and plan to fixating only on my problems and distress. Yet it is precisely in these places that God most longs to reveal his presence to us. In the story of Jacob’s dream, we see that God’s glorious presence is right here, often in the situations we least expect.

While running in fear from the wrath of his brother Esau, Jacob stops to rest at night. He dreams of a ladder connecting earth to heaven with angels ascending and descending on it. In this vision, God makes a covenant of faithful presence with Jacob that shines like the stars against the black of night. This is no coincidence, but a continuation of the promises he made to Jacob’s grandfather Abraham. Upon waking, Jacob exclaims, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it” (Gen. 28:16).

In our own dark seasons, how often do we miss glimpses of heaven on earth simply because we do not expect them to be present in our pain? Jacob’s dream of the ladder connecting heaven and earth serves to remind us that there is more going on than we see. In the darkness, God is near. And just like Jacob, this realization can bring us to a posture of worship as we anticipate the day when heaven and earth will be one.

As you pray, ask God to reveal his presence in unexpected places today—even right where you are.

About the Author

Katelyn J. Dixon is a writer and photographer from Auburn, Washington. When she’s not creating, she enjoys exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband Drew and partnering with him in life and ministry.

This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series The Heavens Declare