“Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it. . . . How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God.”
— Genesis 28:16-17

I often pray that God would give me more clear examples of his presence and beauty in my life. I hear about Christians who have a vibrant prayer life, or who feel the presence of God so surely, and I wish that I had those experiences more often myself. I pray that God would show up more in my life.
Those are good desires to have and good prayers to pray. But I could also pray for the ability to see God’s beautiful salvation that is already present in my life and in the world.
That’s what Jacob was able to see. He had a dream about a stairway with the angels of God going up and down on it. God spoke directly to Jacob in that dream, reminding him of God’s promises to love him and to care for his family. When Jacob awoke, he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” The beauty of God’s salvation had been with him all along.
That doesn’t always happen in dreams, but God does assure us that he is true to his promises. I am thankful that God’s presence is always with me, whether I recognize it or not.
I pray that God will be near, and I also pray that I will be able to recognize God’s presence and beauty all around.

God of Jacob, I praise you for your presence in my life. Thank you for the times when I am surprised by your beauty and your loving presence, assuring me that you are always with me. Amen.

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