Recently, I’ve been wrestling with the Lord over some big issues in my life. As a victim of fraud and deceit, I’ve been wondering what justice looks like this side of heaven. With so many wars and genocide in the world, and with so much anger and hatred in my very own neighborhood, I’ve been questioning whether love, even Christ’s love, really can prevail. And as I negotiate relationships of various kinds, I wonder whether the the fruit of the spirit will ever be ready to harvest in my life.
The Lord and I have been wrestling in lots of ways over these issues. I shout at Him in prayer; He directs me to a Psalm to remind me He’s in control. I make compromises in my behavior; He brings pain and discipline to my life before I get too far off track. I weep uncontrollably; he whispers my name. I make a small step of obedience; He fills me with the joy of his presence.
Last week, I was thinking about this wrestling, how audacious it feels to be wrangling with the God of the universe. Then I recalled several of David’s Psalms which seemed like a bit of cosmic grappling in their own right. “How long, O Lord?” and “Why do the wicked prosper?” I also remembered another God-wrestler who wouldn’t let go of the Almighty until he got a blessing: Jacob.
The part of the story that came to me a bit later, however, was that chronic limp Jacob received after his all-night match. God gave him the blessing he asked for, but he left him with this reminder that blessings come only from the Lord and often on the heels of pain and suffering.
This wrestling I’m doing feels somehow right at this stage in life. If I weren’t wrestling, I would probably be despairing or giving up. And the fact that God is fighting back, working hard to keep me engaged and involved with him, is worth whatever limp I end up with.
This is the blessing I guess I’m really looking for, after all. Just to know He’s with me.