“There above it stood the LORD, and he said: ‘I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth…All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring'” (Genesis 28:13-14).

“No! You’re not listening to me! Pay attention!” Ever heard that before? Ever said that to someone? There are times in our lives when we can get so focused on one thing that we totally miss something else.

Jacob struggled with that. Even though God had promised that he would be blessed and carry the line of the Savior, Jacob didn’t want to wait for the Lord but took matters into his own hands. He deceived his brother Esau and then tricked his father into blessing him instead of Esau. He wasn’t paying attention to God, wasn’t relying on God, he relied on himself.

So, what happened? Because of his own sin and the sin of his brother, he was forced to flee his friends, family and former life because Esau wanted to kill him. Now, with a rock for a head rest, he had no choice but to focus on God.

There are times when God has to get our attention too, isn’t there? “No, I’m fine God. I can make it on my own.” “I can figure my life out myself, God, you can take a break, take a vacation, I’m good.” And how does that work out? At times God uses pain in life to put us on our back so we have to focus on him.

And what did God do for this sinner Jacob? Leave him? Abandon him? Give up on him? Just the opposite! in grace, mercy, and love he gave him incredible promises – including the promise of his descendant-Savior Jesus who would be a blessing all people!

At times, in love God has to get our attention. Not to punish us, but to refocus us on Him. In His Word and Sacraments He assures us of our forgiveness in Jesus, our peace with Him, His presence and protection for life, and the sure promise of life eternal with Him.

The Lord, who focuses you back on His love, His grace, and His rule, that’s the Lord you want and you have!

Thankful for the Lord who gets my attention, just like you,