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A night of wrestling

April 4, 2007

Jacob is a very special Biblical figure to me. I have learned a lot from studying his life. He doesn’t live a pure life, and there are some things he really messes up, yet God still loves him deeply. He resists God, runs from him, fights with him, and tries to do things his own way, but God continues to pursue him. It helps me to see that God also loves and pursues me!

In the story of Jacob he returns to the land of his brother, knowing there were things he had to face. There were fears, memories, and emotions he had to work through. Jacob wrestled with who he was, where he came from, and the parts of his life and story he didn’t like. He came to the end of himself, and finally reached a point to stop running and avoiding things. Jacob teaches me what it is to wrestle with these things, to work through them, and to come out different on the other side.

“We’re part of a culture that encourages running rather than wrestling.  We sedate ourselves and our feelings-strangely, the good as well is the bad-with chemicals, food, rage, work, sex, whatever.  We can actually avoid the shadow forever.  But to be a whole person, eventually it becomes time to stop running, and face what’s been kept in hiding.  The ones who face their shadows can become great warriors, spiritual guides, powerful healers.  They can make amazing moms, co-workers, musicians, and teachers.  They can be truly compassionate.  The desert is the place where we finally head out so far that there’s no way to find our way back before we give up all we brought with us and wrestle with what’s inside. And we get stronger.” (Wrestling with God by Rick Diamond)

Jesus too came to a point of wrestling with who he was, where he came from, and parts of his life and story that he would have liked to find a way around. He spent a night in the garden praying that God would change things, either the plan or his heart.

During this week of preparation for Easter we are given a chance to stop running and avoiding things. We are given the opportunity to come before God and surrender our plans, our agendas, and our understandings. What is it you are running from? Are you willing to face your shadows, past, fears, and emotions? It took Jacob a night of wrestling before he was given a new name. It took Jesus a night of wrestling before he willingly walked the path God had laid before him. Are you willing to spend a minute/hour/night wrestling with God? For Jacob and Jesus it meant a new life. What could it mean for you?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 4given2 permalink
    April 4, 2007 4:56 pm

    Sherie, Thanks for the post and the encouragement.

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