Contending with God
“I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Gen. 32:26), Jacob told the man with whom he wrestled. The word "bless" means "break." Let's try it this way: "I will not let you go unless you break me." Unless you make me bow, make me bend. It seems Jacob knew he needed God to do the tougher heart work that only God could do.
Jacob and the man of God struggled near the stream Jabok which means "emptying." Jacob really had undone business with his brother Esau and Jacob was afraid. What turmoil to think that before his very eyes he might see the devastation of all so dear to him - his family.
Jacob remained persistent, strong, and stubborn in his fight. He came face-to-face with God in his fear and with his unfinished business. What did he most need? He needed to be emptied. Emptied of all he had done. Emptied of his past identity and who he was. He knew God intimately, yet trust and faith had to surface in a most unforgettable, miraculous way.
Jacob was blessed by a hip wrenching to remind him that he had been broken and emptied only to be filled by the God who created him, destined him, and gave him his true name.
Today I pray that in my wrestling, God is dislodging sinful roots in my heart and emptying me to prepare a spot where His truth, love, and light might find lodging. In my breaking, God is meeting me face-to-face to change me well below the surface. And in my fear and flickering faith, God is showing Himself ever present to strengthen and guide me.
You, LORD, keep my lamp burning;
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