It has taken me two months to write this blog post. I've been struggling with some stuff. I've been searching and questioning and fighting through some big life stuff. There are moments - seasons - when we are faced with situations that seem impossible, dark, dismal and impossible and we become dismayed, discouraged, disheartened and disillusioned.
Sometimes, those times seem to last for weeks, months, years.
Sometimes, situations cause us to question our faith in the promises of God.
Sometimes, we struggle with circumstances in our life that cause us to be distracted away from God.
Sometimes, struggles with ourselves cause us to focus more on our internal war than on God.
Sometimes we turn away from God and use our own plans and devices and intellect to ease the pain.
Sometimes, we wrestle with God.
In scripture there is a famous wrestling story between Jacob and God. It is one of my favorite stories in the bible.
That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?”“Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” Genesis 32:22-28
Jacob is most commonly known in the Bible for his cunning and deceitful ways and he was completely self-reliant many situations. When Jacob was returning home to Canaan with his family after his many years of service under Laban, Jacob received news that his brother, Esau, who had threatened to kill him for his past trickery, was on his way to meet him. Despite sending gifts of appeasement to his angry brother, Jacob was afraid for his life and that of his family. He prayed anxiously to God for help and sent his family and possessions on ahead of him to protect them. Left alone in his camp disheartened, dismayed and discouraged, God came and wrestled with Jacob until daybreak. Jacob’s famous wrestling match with God is symbolic of his struggle with his inner self. God wanted to enter into a relationship with Jacob, however, he couldn’t do so until Jacob admitted his weakness of self-reliance, deceit, and trickery. When Jacob refused to surrender to God, a mere divine touch on Jacob’s hip forced him to surrender and admit his utter need for God. When Jacob realized he had to surrender, he insisted that God bless him before he let go. And God did so.
A new character was to be his.
A new power was to be his.
A new experience was to be his.
As we wrestle with our sometimes, should know that all the time, God has us in his grip. Our personal wrestling match with those times, situations, weaknesses, circumstances or inside struggles should include a focus of holding on to God and no matter how dark, and no matter how hopeless, no matter how dismal the situation seems. Clinging to God with all perseverance is a part of loving Him and we should refuse to let go until he blesses us.
I wrestle. In a big way, with all sorts of emotions and frustrations and disappointments and anxiety feelings that have resulted from just doing life. Dating, finances, career decisions, emotions and children, retirement plans, following God's call into writing and speaking. I fight it all sometimes and I find myself searching for the reasons, my worth and answers. God promises us peace, and love, and protection and strength and favor and forgiveness and grace and rest and eternal life and he's ok with our struggle - as long as while we wrestle, we refuse to let Him go.
When you fully understand who God is and how crazy He is about you, and when you stop wrestling with yourself, you will realize His blessings