If you think that the Christian makes things easy, here is a bit of news for you. It doesn’t! Sometimes, being a Christian is a tough thing. Being a minister doesn’t give you instant access to all the answers to all your struggles.There is a verse that I have been thinking about recently;
So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. (Genesis 32 vs. 24)
The (simple form) background is that Jacob had conned his brother Esau out of his inheritance and then, did a runner. Years later, Jacob returns home to face the music and he is terrified of Esau. Perhaps you can picture him sat there alone and frightened.
Suddenly, somebody jumps onto his back and wrestles him to the ground. His back must have been agony, his face is ground into the dirt, mouth full of mud! His first thought must have been “it’s Esau, I’m dead!”
The good news is, it isn’t Esau. The bad news, there is a wrestling contest to win!
Now, for people of my generation wrestling brings to mind old ladies watching Grandstand or World of Sport on a Saturday afternoon with colourful characters like “Big Daddy” and “Giant Haystacks”. But (now for the personal bit), I am a wrestler too – although “Smasher Sean” doesn’t sound very intimidating!
You see Jacob was wrestling God and (building on personal bit), that’s who I wrestle with too. Yes I believe God is sovereign, yes I believe that Gods ways are the best ways, yes I believe God intends to bless me but……
Most of my wrestling is because Gods ways are not my ways and there are times when I want God to do it MY way.
So why did you do…..?
Why do I have to….?
Why haven’t you….?
Sometimes, it isn’t easy.
Sometimes it is a wrestle.
Sometimes I wish I could pin God down and get what I want when I want it!!!!
So let me share with you what I have learnt.
You see, I don’t think God minds the wrestling! It’s one of the ways we can learn and grow. God is big enough to take all of our questions, all of our fears and all of mistakes. God isn’t threatened by us but, longs for us to be in relationship with Him. Part of a growing relationship is the wrestling
Also, I think God wants us to wrestle with Him. He doesn’t want us to be mindless automatons. He has created us with personality, intellect and will. He wants us to use what He has given us.
As the passage draws to a close, Jacob wins the wrestle but, refuses to let his “opponent” go until he has blessed Him. It’s then that God reveals Himself to Jacob.
I know that in my wrestling, in my struggles, somehow, some way, somewhere God will reveal Himself and bless me. So “smasher Sean” will keep on wrestling! And you, dear reader, if you are wrestling I pray that somehow, some way, somewhere God will reveal Himself to you