Sometimes there are moments in our lives where we have an encounter with God that changes everything for us. Jacob had one of these when God talked with him, gave him a new name, and renewed the covenant with him. He marked the spot where it happened at Bethel (which means “house of God”– a place where he met God previously in a dream). I believe Jacob saw God differently from that time on and was a changed man for the experience. (Genesis 35:1-15).
I recently heard Jay Pathak speak, and he articulated these moments well. He said, “We learn theology through God’s interventions.” (Jay Pathak is Pastor of Mile High Vineyard Church and author of The Art of Neighboring.)
When I heard him say that, it made me think of the Bethel moments: those times where an experience causes us to start thinking and we wonder what are learning from God in the midst of it. I’ve had times like that in my life, like yesterday’s blog entry on bifocal vision or the boat story.
Those times of God’s intervention are when our real theology is formed. When you take time to reflect upon the things God does, you gain insight and sometimes it changes you forever.