Friday, January 11, 2013

Wrestling--Gen 31-33


Have you ever felt like everything you do is just a struggle?  That's where Jacob is today--struggling with Laban to leave, struggling with his past, even struggling with God. 

Next question:  Have you ever watched preteen boys tussle with their dad?  Dad glories in the struggle, son bristling with the intensity of an animal.  Can't you just hear the dad saying, "How much do you want it, Tiger?"--both father and son enjoying newfound strength. 

Intercessors often talk about wrestling in prayer.  It seems counter-intuitive that we need to wrestle with God.  The catch is that we're not wrestlng to get something God doesn't want to give.  We're wrestling with God, showing him the intensity with which we want it the highest and best He will give us.  The things we get easily, we esteem lightly.  We wrestle in the joy of the relationship, respectfully demanding what God seems to be holding back--in faith seeing the smile on His face in the tussle. 

This is not the only struggle with God we see in scripure.  Abraham wrestles tentatively over Sodom.  Elijah struggles with the intensity of a woman in labor for God's blessing of rain to reappear in the land.  David fights a herculean battle against depression and despair.  Peter answers three times, "Of course I love you."  Paul buffets his body to bring it into submission to his deepest desires.  Daniel fasts and prays for 3 weeks for the return of his people to Jerusalem. 

Jacob gets a new name and a new identity from the struggle--one who wrestles with God and man and wins.  Israel is a fitting name for a people that would stereotypically argue with a doorpost.  Life is often filled with struggle.  I want to say that He is safe to struggle with, but of course Jacob comes away from it with a life-long limp that I'm sure he treasured.  All I can say is that the struggle is worth it. 

What do you want from God?  Is it time to wrestle it from Him?  Can you see the grin on His face as he beckons you to come get it? 

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