The Promise

Karen Bables

Read: Genesis 28:10-15; 32:24-31

For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you. (28:15)

I dream that a huge, amorphous black blob is chasing me. It is a monster that punches and kicks, claws and bites. I try fighting back, but my muscles are frozen. I yell and scream, but no one comes to my aid. I feel lucky to stay one step ahead. When I wake up, I’m shaking even when I realize it was only a dream. My day has dawned, but the real battle is not over. The monster is cancer and it lives inside me.

I think about Jacob. He had two encounters with God that were very real. In the first, he hears God promise to watch over him and stay with him until the promise is fulfilled. This is the dream I want to claim as my own. But later in his life, Jacob has another encounter with God. This time, he literally must wrestle with an unknown man all night. He is injured but he holds on until he knows the man’s name. Jacob does not get what he demands but does get a blessing. Jacob leaves the encounter limping but confessing, “I’ve seen God face-to-face, and my life has been saved” (32:30 CEB).

In our lives, it is easy to dream about God’s promises to always watch over us. Yet we forget that the struggle may result in damage. Victory is won; God will do what he has promised. But that doesn’t mean life will be free of suffering. —Karen Bables

Prayer: Lord, let no storm shake my trust in the promise of your protection!