This year has been a great one. Amazing. Breakthrough. But at the same time, it’s been a wrestling match the entire time. I guess I should begin to expect that.
There’s a story in the Bible of Jacob, who wrestled with God. They spent all night wrestling, and the God/Man/Angel couldn’t get the upper hand on him–in the end he dislocated Jacob’s hip and Jacob had to tap out… Yet Jacob would not let go until God blessed him.
Neither will I. And neither should you.
Photo Credit:Kell Bailey
Are you wrestling with God over something? Keep wrestling until you find the blessing in it.
Jacob was in a time of transition, moving from Laban’s tribe to his own. He was on the verge of getting his inheritance, crossing back over the river with his tribe. For some reason, he sent his family and herds ahead but stayed behind, possibly to spend the night praying and asking for blessing as he returned “home.”
Don’t Let Go
I don’t know if you’ve ever wrestled, but it’s tiring. I wrestle my kids for fun and I’m beat after about 10 minutes. The length of a freestyle or Greco-Roman wrestling match is three 2-minute periods. 6 minutes.
But Jacob’s wrestling match lasted all night long. And at daybreak, Jacob still had enough strength to lock his opponent in an unbreakable hold.
Talk about an initiation.
Here’s Jacob about to redeem his inheritance… he just needs one insanely hard physical event to mark the passage. And he is scarred for life, with a limp that will never let him forget his run-in with God. And never forget the blessing…
A Name Change
And God recognizes the new man with a new name. No longer will he be Jacob, the usurper. He is now Israel, the prince who has struggled with God and prevailed. The one who has gone through the fire and come out the other side. A man in his rightful place as leader and father of a tribe.
So For Us…
I will still struggle with God. I will continue to fight for my family, my marriage, and my inheritance until I receive the blessing. Even if it takes all night–or years. I will continue to take time to meet God alone, to shout “Why?!” and “How Long?!”
You can do the same. If you’re wrestling, let me know… maybe we can help each other.
P.S. If you get a chance, read and study the story of Jacob, Rachel, Leah, Laban, and Jacob’s return to his family. It’s drenched in meaning and overflowing with life lessons. Genesis 28 to 33.