(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)
God had a lot to do and more than enough to teach me last month. August was one of the hardest months I think I have faced in my own relationship with Jesus.
From discipleship relationships, to Mom’s work m a n d a t e situation, to finding out that our friend Rocky is in jail again, it’s been nothing but a mess.
Raise your hand if you have ever gone through a season of life where you woke up every morning expecting things to just get worse than they were yesterday. Do you watch the world reach a new level of crazy that you couldn’t have even dreamed of yesterday, but none the less it is our reality today?
Yeah? Ok, you can put your hand down now…
If I’m being real with y’all, I have felt like Jacob in Genesis 32 a lot more than I’d like to admit recently. I have spent my fair share of time wrestling with God, and I have a feeling I’m not done yet. While our culture and the American Church embraces wealth, power, and strength, we’re often left feeling stuck. We abhor the idea of being weak, a failure, or experiencing doubt. Sure, we may “know” that a measure of vulnerability comes with life, however, we usually view it as a sign of failure in our spiritual walk. Sooner or later, the reality of life is made very evident to us, which is where I believe Jacob was at.
With his father-in-law behind him and Esau before him, Jacob was too scared and too tired to hold on for much longer.
But only then did his real struggle begin. Jacob wrestled throughout the night with “an angel” until daybreak, and finally gave in when it struck him with a blow to his hip, that left him with a limp for the rest of his life. Jacob realized that he had encountered God. In Genesis 32:30 Jacob says, “I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared”.
The reason I want to share this with you today is because there is a very crucial piece that we tend to completely miss when “wrestling” with God. In Genesis 32:29 we see that God blesses Jacob.
I have watched too many Christians suffer through life because they are unwilling to wrestle with God and become solely dependent upon Him for their strength and courage to face the next battle. But this is precisely what we ought to do because His plan is the only thing worth moving forward with.
As I personally wrestled through the month of August, God challenged me to give Him my hand. Not to take His hand, but to give Him mine. You see, God wants to hold on to us, so that if we happen to let go of Him, we won’t fall.
Don’t you see, dear Christian? This changes the whole dynamic! No longer are we dependent upon the strength we think we may have, but instead on the very Being that sustains us and has the power and ability to keep us alive for the next 15 minutes.
God wants to bless us, but sometimes that means that we must “give in” to what He has for us and what He ultimately wants to be to us. Jesus so desperately wants to be your everything right now, but you have to first give Him your hand.
In the end, Jacob confronted his failures and weaknesses, and all the things that were hurting him, and faced God. What we can practically take-away from this example is that God is willing to wrestle, because if we’re wrestling, we’re longing for more of Him. As Christians, despite our trials and heartache here on earth, we can take heart remembering that God’s blessing inevitably follows the struggle, which can sometimes be messy.
But there is ministry in the mess.
May we willingly give Him our hand and say, “Lead me, Lord.”
“Will you come with me to the mountains? It will hurt at first, until your feet are hardened. Reality is harsh to the feet of shadows. But will you come?” (C.S. Lewis)
SO WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?
= Are you seeking more of Him?
= In what ways have you felt like Jacob before?
= What are you going to do differently?