The Lord is in This Place

By Melissa McLaughlin

Seeing God With Us

It was a simple thing. My husband and I paused for a brief rest.

The daily grind of laundry, bills, cooking, and errands hemmed us in like hamsters on an exercise wheel. Despite running as hard as possible, the finish line appeared just out of reach.

At one point, I glimpsed out the window and stopped in my tracks. Autumn leaves in all their glory called to us. My husband and I scurried outside with a fresh sparkle in our eyes.

We pulled out lawn chairs, sat under the trees in our backyard, and beheld this wonder. Leaves of golden yellow, deep red, and vibrant orange danced on the branches in fall’s grand finale. A puff of wind here and there brought handfuls of leaves fluttering down like confetti in a ticker tape parade.

We gazed at this marvelous scene in hushed, reverent silence.

In the stillness, I felt the majesty of God. Suddenly I could hear the song of the birds and the rattle of leaves as the wind blew. Squirrels chased back and forth in the trees and in the distance, a dog barked for joy.

With the earlier hurried pace, I couldn’t recognize God’s fingerprints in the world around me. But when I slowed down and turned my mind to God, I perceived that the Lord is in this place and I did not know it.

Sometimes life wraps us up like a ball of twine. Perhaps it is an illness, caring for family, loss of a loved one, or a job change. Perhaps conflicts at work or the paychecks don’t cover the bills.

Sometimes, simply the busyness of life or even church life entangles us.

May we step away today and discern anew that the Lord is in this place.

The Lord is in This Place and I Did Not Know It

In a recent reading of Scripture, I recalled Jacob’s vision of angels. In Genesis 28:12, Jacob had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it” (Genesis 28:16).

Where do we see this refrain again?

This Lord is in This Place

Interestingly, while first calling His disciples, Jesus told Nathaniel He saw him under a fig tree and knew his nature. Nathaniel was amazed at Jesus’ knowledge.

Jesus responded in John 1:15 – “Very truly I tell you, you will see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

The similar descriptions of angels ascending and descending by Jacob (in Genesis 28) and then by Jesus (in John 1) made me curious. Jesus undoubtedly intended His hearers to tie these verses together, given their knowledge of Old Testament Scripture.

The passage in Genesis 28 is sometimes referred to as Jacob’s ladder. We know from New Testament Scriptures that Jesus is like a ladder or gateway between God and mankind (John 10:9). Jesus is our Mediator and High Priest (1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 4:14-16).

Subtly and mysteriously, Jesus reveals from the start that He is the divine link between God and humanity. For those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. Did they recognize the Lord was with them? Not completely.

They Did Not Recognize Jesus

Later in Jesus’ ministry, He approached Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, as recorded in Luke 19:14-44. Jesus looked out and wept over the city. How His heart ached for the people who refused Him.

Jesus’ words in this account read, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

When I read this passage, my heart aches, too.

God let us not miss you!

Let me see the Lord is in this place


God, give me spiritual eyes today. Let me not miss your Presence all around and within. You reveal Yourself to us in many ways through the Bible, creation, Christ, and the indwelling Spirit. Help me look for You, Lord. Help me remember, even when I cannot see, You are with me. Let me say, “The Lord is in this place and I know it!” In Jesus’ name. Amen.

When have you noticed God is in this place?

Other articles you may enjoy:

Our King is Coming by Melissa McLaughlin

When Fluttering Beauty Comes – Poem by Melissa McLaughlin

The Time Between Time by Melissa McLaughlin

Two Times Jesus was Amazed by Melissa McLaughlin

Bible Commentary at

17 thoughts on “The Lord is in This Place”

  1. Just the other day I sat on our deck and reveled in the falling leaves–the small ones twisting and twirling, the larger ones swaying side to side on their descent. It IS a wondrous display of God’s creative genius, as His trees prepare for a season of rest. With you, Melissa, I don’t want to miss My Father’s presence in this place (or anywhere else)!

  2. God looked for me before I knew Him, I realized this now almost 30 later after I got saved. Before I even knew the Lord He brought me to Christian foster parents. If I stayed in Stockholm I would have been eternally lost. God knew this and took action. He brought me to Linköping. It took me 9 years before I received Jesus. It is so amazing our Lord isn’t confined in any way at all and that He can lead us in this wonderful and amazing way I just described.

    • What a powerful testimony. Thank you for sharing your journey with God and the amazing ways He led you to faith in Christ. It gives me hope for others who are not yet following Jesus. You are right, God is not confined in any way. Thank you, Lord, for finding us and leading us all the way to heaven. God bless you!

  3. Emmanuel, God with us, what a spectacular truth, and our awareness of this truth often happens when we stop to listen to the quiet whispers around us.

  4. Melissa, such powerful imagery watching “fall’s grand finale.” We certainly can miss God in the busyness of life and even in ministry. May we always look for Him to be in this place-wherever we are at the moment. God bless.

    • Yes and amen, Karen! It can be easy to get lost in the everyday toil of just surviving and miss God’s presence with us. Yes, even in ministry. May God open our eyes, so we don’t miss Him along the way. Blessings to you!

  5. I loved how you took chairs out to be closer to the autumn scenery and God. What a great way to “see Him” all around us. And your prayer brought it all home for me. I pray to have a he eyes to see.

    • Thank God for those moments when we can pull out the lawn chairs and rest with God. Such a small thing but such a big blessing. Yes, may we have eyes to see afresh the Lord’s hand at work in the world. Blessings to you!

    • That is a moving scene when Jesus approaches Jerusalem and weeps over the people. How He longs for us to recognize Him and draw near. Lord, give us eyes to see you and hearts to love you more and more. God bless you, Nancy!


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