When God interrupts us

“This has almost always been the case for me with God’s will. I was always pointed someplace else, moving ahead, doing what I thought I was supposed to do. I wasn’t seeking; I wasn’t looking. It seems as though God has always come to me as an interruption.”  ~ Moishe Rosen, founder of Jews for Jesus

I’ve been thinking about interruptions. Last night I was making a Jacob’s Ladder photo booklet with some friends. It is a booklet made from a set of square coasters bound together by three ribbons that enable an optical illusion to occur when the viewer “operates” the booklet. The pictures on the coasters are viewed as the coasters fall open in a cascading fashion and by flipping the top picture in the cascade it flips to reveal the pictures on the underside of the cascade. Here is a You Tube video of the Jacob’s Ladder toy after which this photobook was modeled:

Jacob’s Ladder Toy

After the evening out with my wonderful ladies under the superb instruction of Kat, I got to wondering why this was called Jacob’s Ladder. I did an internet search that did not yield much illumination so then I went to Genesis 28 to read the Bible story of Jacob’s ladder to see if that would help. Da! I should have gone to the Bible first. Here is the story recorded in Genesis 28:10-17 in the New Living Translation (NLT)

Landscape with Jacob's Dream, c. 1690, by Michael Willmann

10 Meanwhile, Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran. 11 At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep. 12 As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway.

13 At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. 14 Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. 15 What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”

16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” 17 But he was also afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!”

The key verse for me (and it fairly leaped off the page at me) was verse 16. “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” Isn’t this what Ann tries to teach us with each and every blog at A Holy Experience? Isn’t it what 1000 Gifts is all about? Slowing our lives down so we notice things, so that we become aware of the now; not always mulling over the past or impatiently waiting for the future, but being now here. As my friend Andrea Dawn so wisely noted one day, “If we are not now here. We are nowhere.”

In the Jacob’s ladder toy (and in my photo book) half the pictures are hidden until the viewer flips the “ladder” and then all new pictures show up. It’s kind of miraculous. Indeed, one can make objects appear and disappear according to how the pictures are viewed. I don’t know why the “toy” was called Jacob’s Ladder in the beginning, but this is my explanation. Life has many layers of meaning. It’s the art of life to get the meaning, right Andrea Dawn?  In January I thought I knew where I was going and I got interrupted. My Jacob’s Ladder flipped and the hidden parts I wasn’t seeing before replaced what I was seeing every day. It was truly a new landscape for me. I think of that now as I look at my Jacob’s Ladder photo book and as I remember Jesus’ death this Friday. Jesus’ crucifixion could be viewed as the interruption of a young and vibrant life, but from God’s perspective it is the fulfillment of the plan of the ages. Believing makes the whole scene flip and then one can see that Jesus’ death is THE sacrifice that takes away the sins of the whole world.

Walking with Him Wednesday,

Dawn

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7 comments on “When God interrupts us

  1. This is a perfect “Art of Life” illustration, Dawn . . . one little flip in a single day can change the whole picture. It usually takes us by surprise but never the LORD. Maybe we would be wise to anticipate, dare I say, even appreciate (???) the flips as the they manifest in our lives. Easier said than done, I know. The scripture that jumped out to me was, “the place you are lying on belongs to you”. Will be pondering that a while. The Jacob’s Ladder photo booklet looks like a fun project to do. Great post!

    • Dear Andrea Dawn,

      We could have a wonderful time making these together. You are always so crafty and creative. I’d love to see what you would do with the basic pattern.

      I pray you will post over on one of your blogs about the verse that struck you. I love to learn what you hear from Him.

      A ready pupil,
      Dawn

  2. Jesus’ crucifixion could be viewed as the interruption of a young and vibrant life, but from God’s perspective it is the fulfillment of the plan of the ages…

    This jumped out at me! This past month there have been an outstanding amount of deaths… almost all related to blood clots… a funeral this evening of an old friend, and another acquaintance with her husband taking meds to get rid of clots that could pose a problem. Eduardo’s VP who died with a blood clot after knee surgery. Even a neighbour’s goat died suddenly last night of a blod clot traveling to the lung. Then there is my friend’s daughter with bacterial menengitis slowly recovering, praise God, and my daughter having lost her beloved yearling Friesian, and yet another child a week old who simply died while the mother went to fold a load of laundry and now how do we view all these interruptions to these purposeful and vibrant lives… Somehow I believe this is where faith and hope and love come in… Without these three God gifts, life becomes hopeless, faithless and loveless…

    We cannot always understand God’s perspective but by faith we can trust that through these interruptions God will fulfill His Loving plan for all our lives.

    • I have been told that the Mayan calendar predicts the world will end Dec 21, 2012 and also that there will be a great solar flare on Dec. 22, 2012 that may fry our planet. I’m jokingly telling everyone I am not buying Christmas presents this year, but I really think that would be a great way for the world to end. All my loved ones go together FAST. He knows best and He is good so I am not worried.

      Dawn

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