One of my favorite stories comes from Genesis 32:22-32. Jacob and his family, flocks, and servants were travelling through his brother, Esau’s land. The brothers had not been on good terms since their father gave Jacob the blessing meant for Esau. Jacob prepared his animals as a peace offering to his brother for the deceit he caused.
As Jacob waits to see what Esau’s response will be, Jacob encounters a man who wrestles with him all night long. Being a wrestling coach’s kid, I am well aware of the battle that would have occurred that night. Holds, counter-holds, redistribution of weight to hold the opponent, trying to get the upper-hand, trying to show who is better wrestler. In a sense it’s the ultimate chess match.
Jacob never lets up, he continues through the night and even when the man touches Jacob’s hip which would cause a limp for the rest of his life, Jacob doesn’t stop. He doesn’t stop until he receives a blessing from the man. It is then that Jacob receives his new name, Israel which means “wrestles with God.” It is incredible to know that Jacob, in his nineties, wrestled all night, still called out for a blessing from his opponent, and received that blessing.
As I have been working through the battles, I have fought for who I am according to God’s Word versus what the enemy calls me. Through all of this I find I am willingly allowing God to come in and reset the broken parts of my life that have made me walk with a limp.
God is the one Who resets the bones, brings life to the dead, sets the feeble on strong legs, and the lame to dance.
I have wrestled and the sun is rising and I am not letting go. I am determined to be fearless and to be more than a conqueror through Christ who strengthens me. I will walk taller, stand stronger, and lean into what He is calling me to do for His purposes and His glory.
Jacob Wrestles With God
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. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions.24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.25 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. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,[f]because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
30 So Jacob called the place Peniel,[g] saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel,[h] and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.