Gen 32:22-25, 31
And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of Jabbok. He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had. Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him… Just as he crossed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip.
God’s path can be filled with narrow, circuitous routes, tumultuous winds and desert storms. My pastor just shared about some of the challenges her family is facing in this season, “It seems we just got hit by a thunder storm and now we are facing a tornado”. Sometimes it feels as if these tornadoes have burst right through my very soul. One after another. The perseverance and endurance this journey requires is nothing to minimize and I can’t help but think of Jacob; the one who wrestled with God. The one who overcame Him. Of course, from what we know about God, He is the Almighty. So if you win a wrestling match with Him, well, it was because He wanted you to. Similar to when a parent plays with their kid. There’s no way the kid has the knowledge and expertise of the parent, so to put a smile on the kid’s face, the parent gives them the victory.
So God gave Jacob the victory, along with a new name. But Jacob didn’t just walk away with a new identity. He had a limp. I think when we endure the path God has called us to, we end up walking differently. With a limp. This limp keeps us humble. It’s harder to walk. We may stumble. We may lose our footing. We may even have to depend on others for the next step. But it is a mark that we have wrestled with God and He has marked us as His.
It is important to note that Jacob wrestled with God alone. His 2 wives, his servants, his 11 sons were all gone and he was left by his lonesome. There are times we must wrestle with God alone. He will give us community and fellowship as supplements to aid us in the journey. But when it comes time for us to really get to know Him, we must wrestle with Him alone.
No matter what course we take, His purpose in this path is for each of us to know Him. I mean really know Him. It is easy to be in relationship with someone and feel that you know them just because you know things about them. You may know their job title, or some of their favorite songs, but do you really know the inner workings of their heart? You can only know someone by deep conversation and fellowship with them. God is the same. He wants us to know Him, but often we are so consumed with ourselves, we do not take the time to dive into His inner workings. Maybe I am just speaking of myself on this?
So He creates this path so that we are ensured to get to know Him. Because otherwise we never would. And in getting to know Him, we of course become like Him. And we demonstrate His likeness in the earth. Which is what He has desired from the beginning.