The British weather strikes again! This time of year it’s so unpredictable – yesterday we had glorious sunshine and blue skies then this morning I drew the curtains to see the world had disappeared behind a veil of thick fog! I know that the landscape hasn’t changed overnight – the blossom covered trees, the well situated bench, the enthusiastic cyclists and joggers and dog-walkers are all still there – they are just obscured by the mist.
My nephews and niece came to tea last week. Over the dinner table there was a lot of enthusiastic chatter, covering a wide variety of topics ranging from favourite TV shows to 7 things they liked about their cousin, fictional (and very silly) accounts of meeting someone for the first time, as well as things they had learnt at school that day. One of them reported that in their science lesson they had been learning about the definitions of opaque, translucent and transparent. I was actually pretty impressed when we gave them some examples and they were able to identify which was which. I was thinking about that when I came to look at the next page in my bible this morning. As a general rule, when I am bible art journaling, I try to keep my artwork fairly translucent so that I can still read the words on the page – however sometimes things don’t go exactly to plan. Bible journaling is a learning journey – not just spiritually but also creatively. On this page the paint went on a bit closer to opaque than I usually shoot for. It bothered me because it makes it hard to read this incredible promise God gives to Jacob as he sleeps with a rock for a pillow;
“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” – Genesis 28:15
Jacob sees a staircase between heaven and earth and angels ascending and descending. Again things didn’t go exactly how I wanted them to, my angels ended up a bit too transparent to show up in the photograph.
“Surely God was in this place and I was not aware of it.” He was afraid and said “How awesome it this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” Genesis 28:16-17
“I was unaware” – what an interesting phrase. We can live a lot of our lives in the fog – only seeing a short distance in front of us without being aware of the reality that God is with us. I love the fact that on this page even my mistakes became a vehicle for God to speak to me. I wonder whether my opaque paint and transparent angels are a good analogy for the way the invisible, spiritual realm is surrounding me and yet I can often be completely unaware? I am unaware that there is invisible and miraculous activity all around me – when I pray, when I worship, when I serve, even when I sleep. There are angels battling against forces of darkness, answering my prayers, providing protection, delivering messages, provision, blessing and encouragement! Life can become opaque even though, just like Jacob, God has promised never to leave me or forsake me but I can be unaware sometimes that He is near. I am so grateful for moments like this one where God’s word gives us a glimpse through to reality. And I’m also thankful for promises to hang onto when the fog means we cannot see. My prayer for us today friends is that we don’t live unaware but that the Holy Spirit gives us eyes to see that surely God is in this place.
Thanks for reading. Much love Rach x
If you would like to see Katy’s blog about this same chapter then it is called Stairway to Heaven.