August 12, 2019
Verse for the Week:Genesis 32:26b; But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
Today my twins turn 18. Yep! Adults! And honestly, I’m overwhelmed as I look back over the years with a heart of gratitude and forward to a future yet to be told.
And as I prepare for this season of change, I can’t ignore the competing emotions taking up residence in my soul—love and sadness, excitement and fear. They swirl around in my head and my heart challenging me to curl up in a ball on the floor and cry.
Cry for all that has been, and all we’ve endured. Cry for who we’ve been and who we will become. This kind of cry is deep and guttural. The kind that seeks to be felt and not necessarily heard. It’s fraught with pain and yet rejoices in purpose.
Life is like that, isn’t it? We are constantly approached by seasons of change as opponents to be met in the ring, and undeniably someone or something is going down. Truthfully, this is where we so often land, toggling between competing emotions and begging to tap out!
The big question is who will I be on the other side of this battle? This was the question Jacob wrestled with on his journey back to Canaan where he was about to come face to face with his past and fight for his future (Genesis 32).
This place of struggle is where hope and fear coexist, joy and sadness clash, and pain and purpose must make nice and shake hands. But what Jacob found as he battled these emotions was a blessing—a new name and a new identity. One that would mark him for the rest of his life and every generation to follow.
Have you ever found yourself in a wrestling match with God? These moments are sacred. Personal. Pivotal. They cause us to pause because the moment is so arresting it calls for our full attention.
More often than not, we wrestle in our relationships. Jacob was no different. He wrestled with his emotions surrounding his brother Esau. This place of personal conflict can cause us to question our identity. Who am I? And who am I to become as a result of how I handle this situation?
How about you? What are you wrestling with right now? What takes up space in the room, turns you inside out and upside down? Is it a person? Situation? Difficult decision? Or something you can’t quite put your finger on but weighs heavy on your heart into the wee hours of the night?
Jacob was desperate for God to bless him. He didn’t want to settle for who he had been. He was fighting for who he was to become. In the end, God gave Jacob a new name. We too can receive a new name and a new identity. Yet it’s only when we engage in the fight can we discover this blessing.
Like Jacob, when we wrestle with God through a tough season of transition, hang on and don’t give up—it’s a fight worth fighting! It strengthens our faith, develops our identity, and solidifies a state of internal peace we could not find otherwise.
But we must fight for it because the blessing is found in the battle.
Prayer: Lord God, as I wrestle with complicated emotions in this season of change, teach me how to fight the good fight and hang on until I receive the blessing you have for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Remember, you are not alone. Fight the good fight and don’t give up until you receive the blessing of who you are to become.