“Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, For you have wrestled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
Genesis 32:28, NKJV

My youngest son, Stefan, loves to wrestle with me. Although he is the smallest of my children, he loves to sneak up behind me on the couch and “attack” me to wrestle with him. Because of my size, in comparison, it is usually not much of a match, but I always enjoy his tenacity and fearlessness in jumping on me. I can see growth in his strength over the years of these wrestling matches. I delight in those moments of physical and emotional closeness with him.

In life, we have those times of wrestling over decisions we have to make. So many times those “wrestling matches” in our heads or in our hearts are difficult times. I have found, however, that often they are the “growth times” in my life. As I look back, I see those times as pivotal in becoming the person I am today.

Jacob, in the Scriptures, wrestled with God and won – because he received God’s blessings.

I am reminded of the story told by the author, Nikos Kazantzakis, a highly religious man, who shared about an encounter with a priest, Father Makarios. Kazantzakis asked, “Do you still wrestle with the devil?” “Not any longer, my child.” replied the Father. “I have grown too old and he has grown too old with me. He does not have the strength. I now wrestle with God.” “With God?” exclaimed Kazantzakis, “And you hope to win?” “No,” answered the monk, “I hope to lose.”

Are you wrestling with God? If so, I hope you lose.

QUESTION: Have you surrendered to God’s will for your life? I pray that you are wrapped in His loving arms and know that embrace, that security, that blessing of the loving Father.