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Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Genesis 28:10-11a (NIV)

Listen: Genesis 28


Jacob was alone and traveling dangerously at night. Jacob decided to rest for the night in a place he did not know, journeying to a destination he’d only heard of. Jacob found a suitable rock for a pillow and slept. The path leading to this moment in Jacob’s life was complicated. We can imagine him looking up at the stars and asking, “Where am I? How did I get here?”

Jacob chose to deceive his father and steal his brother’s blessing. It’s doubtful he imagined it would’ve landed him alone in the wilderness with a rock pillow. The truth is, we can choose our behavior, but we can’t choose our consequences. We have no idea how our decisions will ripple on ahead of us.

This can too easily be true for our lives as well—like the man who harbors bitterness for years and finds himself isolated in darkness or the teen who consistently resists the advice of parents and finds themselves in a dangerous place.

When we’re in the middle of the mess, it’s often hard to see our part in the conflict. But until we see, own and repent of our contributions to the mess—we’ll continue to perpetuate the dissension.


Take a moment today to offer God a prayer of openness. You might pray something like, “Dear God, my family is not alright. I feel frustrated and alone. And I know that I’ve had a part to play. Please forgive me for how I’ve added to the mess. While it doesn’t change what’s been done to me, help me see clearly how I might begin to honor you. Amen.”

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.