Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wrestling with the Angel

 Read with me in Genesis 32...24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
   But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
 27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”
   “Jacob,” he answered.
 28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
 29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
   But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”  From my journal this morning....

"Are we done wrestling?  I hope so. The battle has intensified these last few months, and it has been me, striving with all that is in me, to beg You to bless me…as I grasp for control and haphazardly reach for what I think will satisfy.  You wait patiently, and walk behind me, cleaning up the messes I have made, coloring them with the gold of your glory.  And isn’t this the depth of grace?  To be fully wrong, and yet fully loved and covered in Your all-surpassing goodness.  This is the covering that I have inherited.  The great grace of being your daughter.  New names I will take on these coming weeks…a new surname, a new calling, both in marriage and ministry…and yet my deepest calling remains, as your child, called to rest in Your love that never fails.  In this I am called to surrender, to drink deeply of Your perfection, letting go of the need for mine.  I have faltered these months in letting go.  The surrender has been hard, the change, the newness, and letting go of me, to accept the ‘we’.  I, like Jacob, have wrestled these months, these many years, with the angel...with my God, asking to be blessed, begging for this, that, or the other thing…in all this I have wanted my God…wanted Him in my inmost being, to be my Healer and Redeemer, and He is answering.  He is opening up the scarred heart, and filling it with His joy, walking through past wounds with His grace, answering my ‘whys’ with His simple, ‘I AM’.  And truly isn’t this the only and best answer?  Isn’t it enough to know that He is before and after and in between every step, every choice, every path we might take...making, molding, renewing, and saving.  Oh, does He save.  I praise Him for this.  For the way He has saved me from myself.  In this I rejoice more than in all things…that God will wrestle me down, touching the sinew of my thigh, as with Jacob, so I will see Him in all things, and not me.  This will bring joy, more and more.  As the weeks before the wedding turn to days, and days to hours, I delight in knowing that the Glory of God, the Filling of the Spirit, and the Seal of this Work, are all that remain.  May it be so, Lord, may it be so.  30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, 'It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.' "

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