Amid Covid – The Witness of Wrestling

coronavirus update (2)  

I will not let you go unless you bless me. (Genesis 32:26)

Wrestling with God is not a sin, nor is it a sign of faithlessness. Rather, it is a sign of a heart that is being challenged and changed under the weight of what we don’t yet understand. Read on and be encouraged today!

Jacob was on his way home to Canaan after spending twenty years on the run from his brother Esau. After hearing that Esau was approaching with 400 men, Jacob was fearful for his own life and the lives of his wives and children. Instead of spending the night in passionate prayer, Jacob wrestled until daybreak with God. When the Lord determined that Jacob had wrestled long enough, He dislocated Jacob’s hip and demanded to be released. But Jacob cried out, “I will not let you go unless you bless me!” To this God responded, “Your name will no longer be Jacob [deceiver], but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.” (Genesis 32:28).

The witness of wrestling has much to say. It says “Lord, I don’t understand but I want to.” It says “I am confused but caring.” It says “I am hurting but still hopeful.” Because we see only a tiny fraction of what our God sees, often we cannot see the relationship between what He is doing in the present and what He has promised to do. All throughout Scripture we read about those who have wrestled with God. David and Job come immediately to mind, but there are many more. Some wrestled in confusion . . . some in frustration . . . some in uncertainty . . . some in grief. But all wrestled with hearts that were beating for the One with whom they wrestled. And just like Jacob, they would not let go of God until they received their blessing.

How is it with you? Have you been wrestling with God in the midst of all the uncertainty and fear brought on by the Corona virus pandemic? Fear not! God is not surprised or shocked by your wrestling, just as He is never surprised by events in the world. He invites you to come into the closest possible contact with Him, moment by moment. Right now we’re all being instructed to maintain “social distance” from each other, but you never need to maintain any distance from the Lord, nor should you! Like Jacob, hold on tight and refuse to let God go until you have received your blessing.

I have repeated this promise from the Lord Jesus many times here, but His words provide the perfect conclusion to today’s word of encouragement:

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;

knock and the door will be opened to you.

For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds;

and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!


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