This morning's Old Testament lesson at church has recently become my new favorite biblical text. It's Genesis 32: 22-30. Take a quick moment to click on that link and read it. It's a wrestling match between God and a human named Jacob!

It's one of the most mysterious chapters in the Bible! So many questions remain unanswered. I think that's one of the qualities of this story that I love - the unknowns.

I also am finding it particularly helpful to be reminded that struggles with God are nothing new! It's basically a universal truth - there are going to be times in our human experience when we wrestle God - either literally, or more often, metaphorically. We ask God things like: Why is this happening to me? Why isn't life fair? Why is my spouse so weird? Does my girlfriend/boyfriend really love me? How could you let this happen?

In the 32nd chapter of Genesis, Jacob does something amazing during his wrestling match with God. He holds on for dear life. The man (who is apparently actually the Creator of the Universe) tells Jacob to get off of him and let go. Jacob, though, keeps hanging on. Jacob refuses to let go and it pays off. Jacob gets a blessing from God, a new name, and a hip out of joint.

The injured hip part of the story is pretty mysterious, too. Jacob leaves his encounter with God a broken - battled - transformed man. I generally hate any kind of theology that endorses a God who intentionally causes injury or harm in any fashion. So this biblical account challenges me.

God hits Jacob's hip in this story.

I'm not quite sure what to make of this. But a little morsel of me feels like I can relate a bit to dear ol' Jacob. Truth be told, I feel like I'm in a bit of a wrestling match lately with a God who I love dearly. Sometimes I think: Seriously, God, could you pinch me so I can wake up? Could you please just bless me like you blessed Jacob? Could we call a truce and the wrestling match can be over now? My hip isn't broken - but I feel like the blood pumping through me veins is."

So when I'm feeling discouraged, I remind myself to repeat the words that Jacob spoke to God a few thousand years ago: "I will not let you go."

No comments:

Post a Comment