Pillows and Pillars

After a period of reasonable service, I have had to throw away my feather pillow. The feathers had been escaping for years, so I had wrapped it in additional, successive cases- I had got up to five. Annoyed with the wastage, I informed my mother, who explained that her mother had bought it between 1964-1967. So it had not even made sixty years’ use! How the shop assistant, with her beehive hairdo, must have chuckled, knowing she was selling so short-lived a product. She must have guessed that she would have been safely retired or dead before I turned up waving the receipt wanting that 2/6 back. Sadly, I cannot find the receipt, nor the name of the shop from which my deceased pillow was bought.

Pillows are precious things. They enable better sleep, providing comfort for the head and support for the neck. Famously, Jacob used a stone as a pillow in Genesis 28, though I dare say he covered it with cloth or padding. Verse 11:

He came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep.

Thereafter, he beheld the wondrous stairway to heaven. Then,

...Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.” (11-22).

His pillow, which was initially a means of offering some physical comfort, becomes a permanent reminder of God’s revelation and promised salvation. Our own means of comfort, whatever that be, should be dedicated to God’s glory and service. My old pillow is now amouldering in the bin, but may I use my other possessions for God’s purpose. My car, my house, my wifi, my holidays- all offer me comfort and pleasure. May we, like Jacob, dedicate them to God’s glory. It is not wrong to enjoy life, nor the blessings which our Father provides, yet we should set them up as pillars to His goodness.