Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it (Genesis 28:16b NIV).
The setting sun, sleep, a stone for a pillow and a strange place. These were the settings for Jacob’s encounter with God in a dream. It was quite different from modern stage-managed performances. But God manifested His presence there. Even though Jacob was not deliberately seeking Him at that time the experience of God that night helped Jacob to understand that God was in that place.
The lesson for us is that ordinary situations of life–the kitchen, the workplace, traveling to work or eating out in a restaurant–can be places of God’s revelation to us. We should never look at the simple outward circumstances and reject the possibility of God being there. If we reject the unattractive circumstances of life we might be closing our eyes to the possibility of God revealing Himself to us in the everyday situations. For instance, the mistake a majority made during the first Christmas was that they rejected the manger as a probable place of God’s revelation of Himself.
God often bypasses palaces and places of worship and chooses the unexpected and the ordinary as the places of encounter with Him. It is our privilege to understand this truth and always keep a welcoming attitude and an expectant heart in the ordinary circumstances of life. Then we will able to experience God. Jacob was not expecting to meet God. But today, we expect God in certain places of worship alone. It is not so. He loves to meet with us in the ordinary and unexpected places. Let us realize His presence in such places. The setting sun shall rise with a new meaning for us when it happens. Then we will know that we had been in Bethel, the house of God!