“But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.” – Isaiah 43:1.
It was Corrie Ten Boom who said, “Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts whirling around a center of fear.” Worry results from us seeking to wrestle something from God that doesn’t belong to us. Basically, we seek to have control of something we have no power to control.
Do you remember the story of Jacob and Esau? The father Isaac was tricked into giving Esau’s blessing to Isaac. When Esau returned, Jacob had already received the blessing—which guaranteed him a double portion of inheritance. Esau was furious and vowed to kill him, so Jacob fled. (See Genesis 27) After years of living apart, Jacob decided to return to his home and hoped to make peace with his brother. One night on the journey, he sent everyone ahead of him while he stayed behind. What follows is an interesting story. The account of Jacob wrestling with the angel is found in Genesis 32:22-32. The account includes the renaming of Jacob as “Israel”, literally “He who struggles with God.” The account is also regularly described as Jacob wrestling with God.
Through a long and difficult struggle, God taught Jacob to bring his fears to Him, and to cling to His promises. And it seems Jacob finally “got it,” returning to Bethel once more to obey his promise to worship God there (Genesis 35:6-7).
I find it hard to imagine what it would be like to wrestle with God, until I realize that we wrestle with God all the time. We wrestle with Him on seeking His will for our lives. We wrestle with Him to give us peace and clarity. And of course we wrestle with Him for control of our lives. We wrestle with Him until we come to that place that we give Him control of our lives.
Maybe you are in a wrestling match with God right now. I understand it is difficult to give up control and I understand the fear of letting go of control and turning over every aspect of your life to God. But I also understand the peace that comes from releasing control to God, knowing that He has promised to take care of you. Turn over your concerns and worries and leave the rest to Him.
- How often do you wrestle with God?
- What can we do this week to turn over more control of our life to God?