The Sefas Emes answers that Hashem’s chessed was so real to Ya’akov that even though he was not near the Yarden, in his mind’s eye it was as if he was there again. It was not that he was remembering some event of the past; it was as if Hashem was doing it for him at that moment.
When I saw this Sefas Emes I immediately thought of “Mah nishtana ha’layla ha’zeh m’kol ha’laylos.” On Pesach night the geulah is so real to us that it’s not like past history, it’s like we are experiencing it right then and there.
I don’t blame my wife for not looking forward to Pesach yet. She immediately thought of a closer holiday, namely our brachos on ner Chanukah, “she'asah nisim... bayamim ha’heim bz’man ha’zeh.” Again, it’s not some distant memory that we are talking about, but it’s like we are there all over again.