Jacob (the deceiver) becomes Israel (one who wrestles with God) after a face-to-face encounter with the Living God on his way back to meet the brother he tricked. While his story is certainly a tribute to the triumph of grace, it isn’t pretty.
I think that we give too little attention to the middle of Bible heroes’ stories–we gloss over the struggles and temptations, the grief and pain and rush to the final chapter where “all’s well that ends well”.
But life isn’t lived like that.
It is experienced moment by moment, day by day and with no notion of what tomorrow may bring. Sometimes we find ourselves wrestling with God and begging Him to bless us.
Grieving my child’s death has forced me to really think about what I believe and in Whom I believe. It has made me reconsider the power and purpose of prayer–is it to force God’s hand or to mold my heart?
I wonder what exactly Jesus meant when He said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” There are fewer verses than you might suppose on what heaven looks like and what we may be doing when we get there (all popular “I’ve been to heaven and I’m back to tell the story” books aside).
I’m not the only one who wrestles.
I tell my story and speak my heart because I want to make space where those who are struggling, those who are grieving and those who are wrestling can speak the truth:
LIFE IS HARD.
God is not diminished by my desire to understand and make sense of my world–He doesn’t owe me an explanation–but He gives me the freedom to ask the questions.
Wrestling is not unbelief. Wrestling is the hard work of true faith.
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-4 MSG
In the midst of pain, I will choose to persevere and trust that one day my life will be a testimony to the triumph of grace