In church this autumn we are doing a series on Encounters with God. Yesterday we had the story of Jacob wrestling with the stranger in the night, who he later realizes was somehow God himself. Before this, Jacob wrestles, unrelenting. He won’t let go, not until he receives a blessing.
But wait – it’s God Himself who wrestles with Jacob? Yup, God comes down to Jacob’s level. He puts up with Jacob’s wrestling all night, though with a touch he puts out his hip, and could easily have done much more. In the end, He gives in to Jacob’s demand for His blessing.
God not only humours engagement with Jacob, but seeks it out. He’s the one that starts the fight. And Jacob is rewarded for persevering and overcoming. He gets a name change, an identity conversion.
The events in my life this year have put fuel to some of the questions people face at various times in their lives. Are you really there, God? Are you really good? Can I trust you when it looks like the answer is ‘no’? Just to cite the most obvious.
I love that the Bible shows us that God not only allows, but promotes these sort of questions, when they are brought to him. David, who had all sorts of complaints (mostly pretty legitimate!), was called a man after God’s heart. God hears an awful lot from Job before He steps in with an answer.
The danger is that we take our questions and complaints elsewhere, or nowhere at all, where they fester and rot within us. I have been guilty of this for sure.
God, I want the courage to come to you. To say give me an answer, or show me yourself, anything – I just won’t let go until I have something more from you.