Posts Tagged ‘Genesis 32:22-31’

God was a priority in my grandmother’s life. She went to church every chance she had.  When I would stay with my grandparents I would go with her.  Church is what we shared together; I was a grandpa’s boy the rest of my visit.

I was scared at an early age and I don’t think that even as a child I connected with church and god on a real level.   I went more than anything to share it with my grandmother and of course the ice cream cone that came after.  I did how ever get a moral foundation that later in life kept me from straying too far over to the dark side.

Although I have tried to talk with god throughout the years, as an adult I have not given church much time or consideration.  It simply hasn’t been a part of my life or my home.  I would feel god’s presence in my life from time to time.  Almost like a tug or a pull but I would fight on only giving it a passing thought.

One random day my son at the age of 7 (now 8) asked my wife and I the simple question “who is Jesus?”   It stopped me in my tracks.  Regardless of my doubts and struggles with religion, it was a part of my life.  At least I had the choice to accept god or not.  I had failed to give my boys that same choice.

Since that day my wife and I have made efforts to include god in our boy’s lives. We have recently signed them up for the second season of basket ball with a local church.  It is a great program called “Upward”. We have also even begun attending church.  I first started going simply because I felt it was a good example for my sons to see their father go.  I really didn’t go for me.  It honestly wasn’t until we had attended several churches off and on for almost a year that god grabbed a bit of my attention.

The message was from Genesis and it was about the limp and the blessing. The speaker spoke about Jacob wrestling with an unnamed figure throughout the night.  Even after being injured Jacob would not let go without the man’s blessing.

Here is a little of how the story goes:

At nightfall, Jacob sends his wives and children across the ford in the Jabbok River with all their possessions, ready for an early start in the morning. But he stays behind, as the Scripture records,

“So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.”

Somehow, Jacob recognizes that this is no human assailant. This is a divine messenger who has the power to bless him. Jacob and the “man” are locked in combat, but are at an impasse. Neither can overcome the other, but neither wants to release his grip for fear that the other will take advantage of the moment. The “man” injures Jacob’s hip, but still he holds on. The “man” finally says:

“Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

Jacob is tenacious and persistent:

“I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

Unless the “man” will speak words of peace and blessing to him, Jacob will not release him.

“What is your name?”

“Jacob,”

“Your name will no longer be Jacob [meaning supplanter’], but Israel [meaning he struggles with God’], because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome”

The speaker went on to talk about how Jacob walked away from that battle with a blessing and a limp. That message hit me right between the eyes. Now I know that ever message affects each person differently and each message is interpreted differently be each listener. For me it was as if the message was aimed directly at me. I have been wrestling with god and my relationship with god my entire life. I realized in that moment that not only was I wrestling with god, that it was ok for me to wrestle with god, that I had to wrestle with god so that I could truly understand his purpose in my life. In that moment I understood that if I truly allowed this battle to happen that at some point I would come out of it with a blessing and a limp and a new life. I guess recognizing my life does need god is the first step. Truly allowing him in is the next.