Genesis 32:22–30 ‘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.’(vv24–25)
It is only when God is present that anything of significance can take place. We may declare God is everywhere present, but the question remains, is God present with us in the here and now?
Life’s a perpetual distraction from our personal encounter with God. In our responsibilities and frivolous pursuits, we’re invited to choose the degree to which God is present with us. Too often prayer appears the frustrating distraction from what we feel we want to do with our time.
Yet, time spent away from God is time lost. It is in learning how we might encounter God’s presence in every situation, from the mundane to the profound, that ensures we are holding onto God’s presence in our present. Every moment is pregnant with possible new life. Will we birth these divine opportunities?
We often speak of wrestling with God, yet it is God who wrestles Jacob. God instigates the conflict, one in which Jacob is tested and through which, after a long and duplicitous life, he finally discovers who he is; no longer Jacob, but Israel, or one with whom God contends.
Our growth in God demands that God pushes us. He is the potter who grapples with the clay to create the perfect product. How will we respond within the conflicts, whatever form they take?
How much do we want to press beyond the masks we choose to wear to ourselves, others, and to God, to discover who we have been created to be? Not self-actualisation but divine revelation forged through life’s many struggles.
A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord, in my struggles through life I pray that I discern the face of God. Amen.’
An Action To Take:
Where and when does God contend with you? What have you learnt from such struggles about who God has created you to be?
Scripture To Consider:
Gen. 17:1–22; Job 42:1–6; Matt. 26:36–46; John 1:35–42