Wrestling for Blessing

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.”  – (Genesis 32:28, NIV) 

Then the man said, “Your name will not be Jacob. Your name will now be Israel. I give you this name because you have fought with God and men, and you have won.” – (Genesis 32:28, ERV) 

You will no longer go by the name Jacob. From now on your name will be Israel because you have wrestled with God and humanity, and you have prevailed. – (Genesis 32:28, VOICE) 

 

After twenty years of hard physical labor and dealing with a father-in-law who had repeatedly changed Jacob’s wages and the agreement that the two had made, Jacob determined to take his wives, children and livestock back to the land from which he had come. After a week of traveling with the massive group of folks and flocks, Leban, his father-in-law, caught up to the caravan and had a discussion with Jacob. After the tension subsided, the two men reached an agreement, and parted ways. As the journey continued, they group neared the land of Jacob’s father. Jacob was afraid of how his brother, Esau, would respond to his return. He selected a large number of his livestock to gift to him, and sent servants with groups of animals ahead, in hope of pacifying his brother. Once everyone had gone on ahead of him, Jacob met a Man, with whom he wrestled all night. The One with whom he struggled, told him to stop, but Jacob insisted that they continue until he was blessed by Him. Verse twenty-eight is the response given by the One with whom Jacob wrestled. Jacob had struggled with man and God, and now was receiving the blessing for which he was asking. Both commentaries that I read surrounding this passage, pointed out that with the change of name, came also, a change of heart. A personal encounter with God changed Jacob forever. Likewise, an encounter with God changes us forever too. Our persistence to persevere, even in the struggle, results in the Lord’s presence and His help. Though it is unlikely that any of us with physically wrestle with God Himself, (or an angel messenger, as different commentaries suggest that it was either God Himself, or one of His messengers) we will however, struggle with our circumstances and our faith. The more we seek Him, the stronger our trust becomes, fueling faith for every future endeavor. May we fearlessly wrestle with the struggles that come our way, as we depend on God to strengthen and sustain us, in all things and at all times. 

 

Though we may wrestle, f9d3a1df-a6ed-4149-9c89-54ddf9a6f9788443963905273144234.jpg

With our circumstance; 

Lord God, Almighty, 

Will help us advance. 

For as we seek God, 

He hears our heart cry; 

Strengthens our resolve, 

And hope to choose try. 

The blessings do come, 

As we choose persist; 

Hope, strength and His love, 

Things that prayer enlist. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You hear us as we call out to You. Thank You that though we may wrestle with our circumstances and our faith, You never falter, and hear our heart’s cry. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would run to You and lay our need before You, knowing that You hear and help those who seek You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that displays Your faithfulness, strength and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we press on and pursue You in all things and at all times. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing,May 2011 – present 

 

Blessed are those who keep His statutes and seek Him with all their heart. – Psalm 119:2

Responding to the Remarkable

The heavens declare His glory

image by Kevin Freitas

image by Kevin Freitas

the skies show of His hand.

Forever creation’s speaking

if we look upon the land.

The mountains and the valleys,

the oceans and the shore,

the heavens in their splendor,

clearly cry out, there is more.

Sun soaring in the vast sky

then setting just on cue.

It is no sort of “accident”,

that told it what to do.

Faithfully its eastern rise

begins each brand new day.

Warmth as it traverses sky,

providing light on our way.

The laws of God are perfect,

reviving weary soul.

Removing chains that bind us,

and guide us to the goal.

His statutes are trustworthy,

making the simple, wise.

His commands are radiant,

giving light to blinded eyes.

His precepts are provision,

giving joy unto the heart.

Fear of Him in purity –

a healthy place to start.

His love endures forever.

His ordinances sure.

They are sweeter than honey.

More precious than gold, pure.

His words serve as a warning,

to keep us on the path.

Forgive our hidden faults,

protect us from Your wrath.

May every word I speak,

and every whisper of my heart,

be pleasing in Your sight,

as each day begins a fresh start.

(Responding to Psalm 19)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that everywhere we look, there is evidence of You.  We need not look beyond the eyes of a child, nor further than the sound of our own beating hearts, to know that You are.  Forgive us for taking anything that You have made, for granted; as each and every part of creation is a gift.  Teach us how to glorify You in all that we do, and to appreciate with grateful hearts, the magnificent gifts that we have been given.  May our every spoken word and whispering of our hearts be pleasing to You, and may our actions lead the lost to Your loving arms.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present