I identify immensely with Jacob in the Old Testament. I used to think about writing a book about surviving cancer and call it Wresting with Angels. Maybe I will still write one, maybe it will be about cancer (though I think not), but back to Jacob and angels.
Anyone who's done any reading in Genesis knows that Jacob's got some issues. He lies. He's a blessing thief. He doesn't trust people (because he knows they lie). He loves one wife over another. His love can be bought with mandrake roots. He's got more wives and concubines and kids than he knows what to do with. The man's got some sin issues. You know what, me too. We could go into them here, but if you know me at all, you know what they are. If you don't, we'll talk. It won't take very long.
We have another thing in common: we wrestle with God.
I'd love to say that faith came easily to me. I do stand firm in what I know and believe, but I tend to get dragged there, wrestling the entire way.
The funny thing about the story of Jacob is that it gives no reason that this wrestling match started, simply that Jacob was alone when the wrestling match began, and that it lasted long..through the night until daybreak. It ended with a new name, a blessing and a limp.
Lately I have been wrestling with God over events in my life. He is drawing me to forgiveness and release, and I am fighting it. Anger is easier, easier than being uncomfortable, easier than creating new patterns and habits, easier than becoming vulnerable, easier than risking being hurt again. We're wrestling, because God is telling me that grace and forgiveness will be my new name, but that the pain, discomfort, vulnerability will be part of the new ministry that He has for me.
We all know that Jacob didn't let go until he received the blessing, what we sometimes overlook is that ever after Jacob, now Israel, walked with a limp.