June 09, 2010

Here and There Grace

Genesis 32:22-32

Then he blessed him there.
Genesis 32:29


Jacob, grandson of Abraham, has been estranged from his brother Esau for many years. Then, on his difficult journey home, on the night before meeting his brother again, a mysterious figure, who seems both human and divine, wrestles Jacob to a draw. At the end of the long match, this mystifying opponent blesses Jacob “there.”

“There” is just a shallow ford on a little stream called the Jabbok, east of the Jordan River, not even in the promised land. But Jacob gives “there” the name Peniel, meaning “face of God.”

Every blessing from God is grace. And those blessings come regardless of our present condition. We may be grieving, anxious, doubting, wrestling with a difficult relationship or decision. God blesses us there.

Our location doesn’t matter. On any given day we may be at home, at work, at school, at the store, on vacation, in a hospital, in a prison, or in a foreign country. Wherever we are, God is there. Wherever God is, there we are blessed.

God is not limited by strength or geography. And his grace is without limit. At the end of each day we can say, “God blessed me here at home and there at work and there at the store—and there and there and there.” Here, there, and everywhere—grace, grace, grace.

God of abounding grace, we thank you today that the blessings of your grace flow to us here, there, and everywhere. Through Jesus Christ, Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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