Wrestling

Jacob and the angel

I’ve been wrestling since I returned from the Middle East.  Not the sweaty, strained muscle kind of wrestling but the internal kind.

I wrestled with what to say at the grave of my oldest friend; God saw it as an opportunity for me to resolve old wounds from our shared past. I wrestled with what to say at a men’s retreat; God seemed more interested in preparing me than He was in the messages I would deliver.  I had to account to the IRS for how we have stewarded our non-profit for the past five years; God seemed more concerned with how I faced old fears regarding finances and authorities.  Mom is 14 years into her dementia; God sees this as an opportunity to move against the spirit of death.

So, I have been wrestling–not only with my own fears and inadequacies,  I have been wrestling with God.  Strange to realize that God likes to wrestle.

Earlier in the year He seemed to say that the only thing blocking me from my goal of writing the narrative for a curriculum on internet addiction would be Him.   Sure enough, when I got to the last chapter, with no clue as to how it should end, I sensed Him waiting there for me.  What to do? I stepped forward into the most obvious of outcomes; He prevailed and I was broken.  Only God did not view it that way.  He saw beyond the immediate contest to an outcome where we both won.  After being helplessly pinned to the mat, the ending I was after became crystal clear.

It is the ending of a story that determines what kind of story it is.  The same holds true for life. Perhaps that is why the Scriptures say Jacob prevailed in his wrestling match with God.  He lost the match but won a new identity and destiny. He wrestled with the angel and prevailed; he wept and sought His favor (Hosea 12:4).

Lost any wrestling matches lately?  Maybe its time to step onto the mat and face the One who loves to grapple with His children.  It just might change a few endings for the better.