When You Wrestle with God

Monday, September 28, 2015

He's a deceiver who wrestles the unknown man until the day dawns...until the man finally says, "Let me go". But he doesn't release him. "I will no let you go unless you bless me." And Jacob the deceiver becomes Israel, the one who struggles with God. The one who won't let go until he is blessed. -Genesis 32:22-32

How many times I have wanted to give up! I don't want the fight anymore. To stay and struggle is hard. But God knows that the blessing comes after the battle...after we see the battle through to the end.

Have you ever noticed how long the struggles are in God's Word? I sometimes glaze over as I read the Scriptures not thinking of how long the battle has been for those familiar characters I have known since childhood...

Abraham waited 25 years for his promised son.
It was twenty years before Jacob and Esau reunited.
Joseph didn't see his family for more than twenty years.
Moses was eighty before God called him.
David had to elude Saul for at least eight years.

Sometimes the battle is long. It seems like it will never end. Whatever happens though, God wants us to hold on. Hold onto Him until the blessing comes. Don't give up. Because His goal in the struggle is to bless us whether it is here on this side of heaven or after. Wrestle it through with Him.

And how does He bless us? He gives us a new identity. Like He did with Jacob, He changes who we are. I have seen this in my own life. My struggles with anxiety, depression, and relational angst have changed me. I am not the person I used to be. He has blessed me by strengthening my faith in my anxious state, giving me joy as I struggle with depression, and transforming my character when in conflict with others.

He will do the same for you. Just don't let go. Struggle it through until the blessing comes. Don't let go until He changes you.

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