‘I was not aware of it.’ Genesis 28:16 NIV
One night Jacob had a dream. He saw a ladder with angels on it extending all the way up to Heaven, and God said to him, ‘I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.’ (Genesis 28:15 NIV) The next morning Jacob said, ‘The Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.’
When it comes to recognizing God at work in your life, you can be spiritually tuned in, or be like Jacob and not be ‘aware’ of Him. It was business as usual for Moses the day he noticed the burning bush—not an uncommon sight in a hot desert climate. Except this time the bush kept burning, and ‘when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him.’ (Exodus 3:4 NKJV) You’ll have some of your greatest encounters with God in the everyday experiences of life. But you have to be open and receptive, otherwise you’ll miss Him. Whether we’re aware of Him or not, God is constantly trying to catch our attention—every single moment! He wants to draw us into ever-deeper relationship with Him.
And you never know where He’ll appear, or through whom He’ll speak. After the resurrection, Mary Magdalene thought Jesus was just the gardener. Paul writes, ‘Wake up, sleeper.’ (Ephesians 5:14 NIV) You can be awakened by a miraculous healing, a restored relationship, or even a great trial. Don’t just look for God in your triumphs; look for Him in your troubles too. Theologian Frederick Buechner said, ‘There is no event so commonplace but that God is present, leaving you room to recognize or not to recognize Him.’