Friday, March 18, 2011

Wrestling With God: Lenten Walk Day 9

I was reading the story of Jacob a few nights ago and I've always asked myself, why did Jacob wrestle with God? All night, grappling with The Lord, throwing his hip out of joint and still asking for a blessing.

A blessing?

An all night fight, all for a broken hip and a blessing? I didn't get it. Couldn't he just ask for it in prayer?

Days later, while still juggling with the concept in my mind, I was reminded of my long-time struggle with depression. I had moments of happiness, glimmers of light that gave me great hope and, at times, strength. For the most part, these happy moments were never enough, they never filled the void I had within me. My heart was searching for so much more.

It seems like Jacob had little peace in his heart. From the moment he was born, fighting for a birthright, and stealing it, thus living in fear of his brother. He fought for Rachel and fled his father-in-law. He lived in fear, he sinned a lot, all for the sake of that peace he sought. God kept blessing Jacob, protecting Jacob. God knew what he wanted Jacob to become, but Jacob feared the future. I felt like Jacob was always walking on eggshells.

Then one night, to protect his family, Jacob is left alone, without his loved ones, without his riches. I always wonder if he purposely did this to encounter God. I read somewhere that in order for Jacob to meet God, he had to do it alone.

We all need to meet God alone, empty-handed. We can't go to Him with earthly things in our hands, with distractions in our hearts. Life will try to pull us back, money, possessions, false ideals, the devil himself will try to hold you back from encountering God. With worldly things comes fear; fear of it being taken from you, fear from not being able to have more. You do all you can to protect it, but in the end, God only needs to touch you and your life is out of joint.

Last post I spoke about the old me dying. The day Jacob wrestled with God he was given a new name, to go along with a new spiritual relationship with God, therefore a new life. Jacob that night had died and Israel was born.

The day we grasp a hint of God we are brought to our knees, our own joints out of place, allowing us to fall at His feet. We all struggle with the elements of life, but it all means nothing if we cannot make our peace with God. How can we return home if we can't even face Him alone? What will we say? Who will we be when we return from this encounter?

Jacob was blessed by his dying father, was blessed with a big family and riches, but, with all he had, nothing was enough until he received that blessing from God, even if it took all night. And that blessing was enough to change the man inside and out.

A blessing.

God bless!

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