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. 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.
This account of Jacob wrestling with God is close to the heart for many Christians who often feel that way, particularly at major crossroads in their lives. We’d ask God for some sign, hoping to receive an answer that’d be clear and unambiguous.
Instead of a clear indication, we are often led towards this wrestling match instead.
Why didn’t God just win? Surely Jacob was no match for God. You see, for us, filled with the sin of pride, almost everything is seen in the eyes of winning or losing. Even when we ask God for His will in our lives, we are hoping to gain some divine insight on which road grants us the greatest chance of coming out on top.
When we ask God to show us His will, there is no reason He would obscure it from us. It is us who are blind to see it. His will is in the wrestling; it is in the tiring out of our natural selves, until we are totally dependent on him. It is the laying down of the struggle, and seeing the measure of grace and mercy He has shown us through the night of tussling.
God’s main objective isn’t which job you choose, or even which spouse you marry. God’s will is centred around the transformation of your likeness into that of His beloved Son.
I am exactly where God means for me to be. And He will take me exactly where I will need to go. If I lay down my will, my plans and my selfish ambition to see the loving nature and infinite power of the One who takes the time to wrestle with me.