Struggle, Jacob & Faith

That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”

But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.

Genesis 32:22-31 (NIV)

This passage spoke to me over the past few days. I’ve been pondering many things — and struggling to find answers to several different dilemmas, to hear opinions, to seek solutions, argue with myself.

It’s hard to do this type of soul searching. Exhausting. Much like Jacob and his struggle with the angel, I think. At times, I’m hurt by the struggle. But in the end, I’m blessed by God.

It’s worth the effort to struggle. Struggle is a place to grow my faith. It should be hard work. No cheap grace here. The best things are meant to be a bold, crazy, nuts, and unachievable. The world offers a milquetoast truths and easy, pain-relief solutions. I can’t be drawn into that intoxicating place.

God’s plans should never come easy. I’m going to remember that tomorrow. . . and the next day, and the day after that. Because, in the end, I’m blessed by God.

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