November 6 (Genesis 32:28)
“Your name shall no longer be called
Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
Both of our children have loved wrestling with Daddy. Our daughter used to make me sit in the middle of the living room floor so she could barrel down the hallway toward me to knock me over. Our son still likes to wrestle me and try to hold me down, which is much more likely to happen now that he is a strapping young man!
None of this would happen if my children could not trust me. If mine were a mercurial temperament, capable of flying off the handle in anger unpredictably, they would never take the risk of wrestling with me. So what does it say when Jacob wrestled all night with God? What does the give-and-take, back-and-forth relationship between Peter and Jesus say? God blessed Jacob and changed his name to Israel, which means “one who wrestles with God.” Jesus told Peter that He would build His church upon him.
If there is one thing we can be confident of, it is this. God is good. He loves us. We can struggle with Him and hurl at Him our anger, our fears, our doubts, our worries, our concerns, and our confusion. He is not afraid of anything we bring to Him, and He will respond in the rough-and-tumble, sometimes bold, sometimes frightening, but always and fundamentally good way of the Father Who loves us. About what do you need to wrestle with Him today?
sometimes I think You do not care, and so I keep my burdens to myself. Sometimes I am afraid You will reject me, and
so I hide my deepest needs. Sometimes I
am simply not sure if You like me, and so I withdraw from You. Help me draw confidence from Jesus Himself,
Who more than any other person or thing has revealed Your graceful, loving
nature, for there is much about which I need to wrestle with You. Amen.
Copyright © 2016 by Steven R. Perkins