Wednesday Word 8.02.2017

Genesis 32:22-30

22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 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.”

Jacob did not know who it was who had come to challenge him at first. For all he knew at that time, it might have been a common thief or old adversary come to attack.  Somehow through the darkness, Jacob recognized the power he was dealing with and determined not to surrender.  While Jacob had made some choices throughout his life that our modern sensibilities question, you have to hand it to him for his perseverance!  He wasn’t going to let up until God gave him what he wanted.  I think they call that “chutzpah.” God had a plan for Jacob, but Jacob needed a reminder of just who was in charge.  With a mere touch, his hip was wrenched from its socket.  That would get anyone’s attention!  Yet, God blessed him in ways he had never imagined, naming him Israel and making him the heir to Abraham’s legacy.

Our lives are filled with challenges.  We wrestle with circumstances, with other people, and even with God.  Often we just cannot understand what it is God is trying to tell us, what he wants from us. Do you have the perseverance to stick with the struggle?  Obedience is not always easy.  Sometimes we balk at it.  Sometimes we just go round and round because we don’t want to surrender our own will.  Speaking for myself, the struggle usually means there is something I have to learn, something I must be shown.  It’s my own version of the dislocated hip.  I am going to try to hang in there and keep grappling with my own ignorance until God shines the light for me.  It worked for Jacob…something to pray about.

Your sister in Christ, Vicki

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