“They do? My girls?”
“Yeah in worship, they were really going for it. They’re pretty tough, they seem to love it.”
“Oh, yes that… I remember now. They wrestle like that at home. I assumed they only did it at home.
No, they wrestle in public, at church, during worship.
I’m so pleased my Jesus loving heart has rubbed off on them- not!
Since then I’ve noticed just how often they wrestle. Usually it ends with my youngest holding my oldest in a headlock, her body laying flat on top of her. Of course the shrieks of delight show that they are in fact enjoying themselves.
I have been questioning my own wrestles lately.
I wrestle with God. I wrestle with myself. I wrestle with boundaries- constantly moving the goal posts in an effort to find ‘perfect balance.’ My all-or-nothing nature finds middle ground uncomfortable; I swing from all; throwing myself into something fully every waking moment to nothing; when I hit exhaustion, wanting to draw back and simplify. In my health, in my work, at home, in all areas really.
The other day, frustrated with my consistent wrestling, I cried out to God:
“Why must I wrestle- all the time?!”
“Why can’t I just relax, let go and go with the flow?”
“Why do I have to think and explore every option, feeling and process….?”
I’m still not sure why I wrestle however I’ve been led to a few theories.
I wrestle because it’s a part of who I am, my personality and God meets me in that place.
God is in the wrestle.
I watch in awe while others sail through life patient and peaceful- my husband by nature is one of these. God’s favour comes effortlessly to him, to those who wait patiently. These patient, peaceful people are simply being who they are, and God meets them in that place.
Deep down, for me- I think I like the struggle.
My girls wrestle because they love being close. It’s a game to them. In many ways I’m like that too. I have always loved a good debate one with heated discussion where both parties walk away changed.
As I have been pondering my own wrestling nature I came across Jacob’s wrestle God in my devitions.
You’ll find the whole struggle in context in Genesis 32:22-32.
Jacob’s identity was changed in the wrestle.
Jacob’s name meant meant deceiver. During the wrestle God asked Jacob what his name was. It was a recognition of his current circumstance. After the struggle, God changes Jacobs’name. His new identity ‘Israel’ means ‘Prince with God’ because he “struggled with God and with men and prevailed.”
My identity is changed in the wrestle. When I am honest before God I can see where I am at, where I need to change and thus I can see opportunities for more of His grace.
God’s identity was revealed in the wrestle.
When Jacob pleads for God to reveal his identity he is given a blessing. Jacob names the place ‘Peniel’ meaning ‘Face of God.’ “For I have seen God face to face and my life is preserved.”
When Jacob came face to face with God in the wrestle- he discovered who he was and he was changed.
That’s profound in my reflection. My emotions are stirred, it’s what I love about the wrestle.
When I wrestle I see God face to face and I find reason to worship.
When I wrestle, I discover more about myself, more of Him and I am changed. My convictions are deepened.
It’s in the wrestle that we come close, we come to know His strength, receive His grace and begin to unearth what is really within us.
How about you?
Are you a wrestler by nature or one that is patient in faith?
Either way, He works within us as we are and meets is in that place.
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