January 25

Genesis 31 & 32

What is it about guys and wrestling? When I was in high school I loved going to wrestling meets. I sat at the scorer’s table and kept stats. I eventually learned the moves and strategies of this exciting sport. But I never once was tempted to join the team.

I have two grown nephews who think their mother’s living room rug is a wrestling mat. The older even broke the nose of the younger a while back and they still wrestle when they are together.

I know some people disagree when I say there is a fundamental difference between men and women. Oh, women like to establish our superiority, too. But we tend to use less physical means to do so.

That’s why reading that Jacob wrestled all night with God isn’t something I can relate to. I’d have thrown in the towel after the first period bell.

So is there a spiritual lesson to be learned here? I’m glad you asked!

When I am convicted of a sin, God will use guilt, worry, and a host of other negative emotions to bring me to my knees. I can toss and turn all night with the weight of my sin. As God’s child, He wants me to repent so He can bless me. At those times, it’s like I’m in a wrestling match that I cannot and should not win if it means holding on to that sin.

At other times, when I am facing a life changing decision or am so burdened for a loved one I can’t sleep, I may feel in the morning as though I have wrestled all night. It’s not that God is my opponent. In fact God is on my team!  He is more like my coach on the sideline, seeing my battle from a different angle, and shouting instructions and encouragement.

In both cases, God wants me to come out a winner. He wants to help me defeat sin in my life and he wants to bless me. I just need to learn when to quit wrestling with Him! Because when He wins, I do too!

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