as the wrestling season comes to a close here in Romeo, I've been thinking about this......
Wrestling is an intimate sport
-- body-on-body, face-to-face, blood-sweat-tears.
There is no where to run. There is nowhere to hide. It is person-to-person combat. It drains you of your energy. It strips your strength. It is tiring.
Wrestling is about utilizing the other person's strength. It is about balance. It is about being wise.And in the end, wrestling is about surrender - the tap out.Wrestling is about the relinquishing of one's will to the another's.It is about surrendering authority and control.
Jacob's entire life was marked by deception, running away, fear, and self-reliance. It defined who he was. Even his name revealed his character. Now he had nowhere to go. He had no place to run. He was in a life-and-death struggle with God. He was wrestling Jesus. It was time to stop with the pretense. It was time to stop being afraid and deceptive and self-dependent. It was time to tap out.Yet in the text it appears that God is the one who is ready to tap out (v. 26).
"Let me go for it is daybreak" the man says.To which Jacob replies, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." What is going on here? Well we know from v. 25 that God could have ended the match at any time, but this fight was for Jacob.It was time for Jacob to stop trusting his own craftiness and abilities and to start trusting in God.All of Jacob's tricks are useless when you are wrestling Jesus.
Jacob's lifelong struggle with the reality of who he was comes to a climax in this fight. And finally Jacob gets it ... his source of blessing and success would not be his own craftiness or deception. His source of success would be God's blessing on his life (a blessing he was already promised in the Abrahamic covenant).It is time for Jacob to surrender his own will and become who God has called him to be.It is time for Jacob to give way to Israel - the deceiver to give way to the prevailing warrior.
It is interesting that God's people would be called Israelites and not Abrahamites or Isaacites.It is interesting that God chooses the Deceiver, the Heel Snatcher to name his people after.
Perhaps that serves as a reminder that as we jockey for position and seek to manipulate our way to the top that God is waiting on the mat.He is waiting to strip our strength and humble us so that we might walk with the limp of grace.He is ready to dislocate our hip to keep us from running.He is ready to cripple us in order to bless us.He is ready to bring wholeness through brokenness, completion through pain.
What is your greatest source of strength? Upon what are you relying? In what do you put your trust? What is it that God needs to strip from me in order to bless me?
Did you catch that?The purpose of the tap out is so God can bless me.
3 days until Panama.......hhhhmmmmm walking with a limp. joelle
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