Can We Demand A Blessing from God?
Devotional Thought of the Day:
22 That same night Jacob got up, took his two wives, his two concubines, and his eleven children, and crossed the Jabbok River. 23 After he had sent them across, he also sent across all that he owned, 24 but he stayed behind, alone. Then a man came and wrestled with him until just before daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he was not winning the struggle, he hit Jacob on the hip, and it was thrown out of joint. 26 The man said, “Let me go; daylight is coming.” “I won’t, unless you bless me,” Jacob answered. 27 “What is your name?” the man asked. “Jacob,” he answered. 28 The man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have struggled with God and with men, and you have won; so your name will be Israel.” 29 Jacob said, “Now tell me your name.” But he answered, “Why do you want to know my name?” Then he blessed Jacob. 30 Jacob said, “I have seen God face-to-face, and I am still alive”; so he named the place Peniel. Genesis 32:22-30 (TEV)
70 You asked me if I had a cross to bear. And I answered, “Yes, we always have to bear the Cross.” But it is a glorious Cross, a divine seal, the authentic guarantee of our being children of God. That is why we always walk along happily with the Cross. (1)
I don’t like to wrestle with God, yet I find myself doing it far too often.
Often the wrestling is because I am too much like Jacob, I want things the way I want them. Often times the way I want them seems quite logical, quite loving.
I want couples to grow together, not fight each other. I want my family and friends to be healthy, not dealing with heart issues, or cancer, or even the effects of aging and it slowing them down. I want my friends to be fellow disciples – studying and knowing God’s love, and desiring to spend time in worship and in service, and realizing that those two things, are really the same.
These things aren’t bad, are they? Why can’t they simply happen?
I am tired of wrestling with God over them, there are days, where I want to just walk away, to give up, to let people go there way, and find some nice “normal” life. Like Jeremiah, I have to rant and rave at times:
7 LORD, you have deceived me, and I was deceived. You are stronger than I am, and you have overpowered me. Everyone makes fun of me; they laugh at me all day long. Jeremiah 20:7 (TEV)
I can’t I have to wrestle with Him, I have to fight, I have to realize how He has blessed us. Until I do, like Jacob, I cannot give up. I have to find that blessing, I have to demand it,
I have to realize what it is….I have to realize the nature of the cross that He has chosen me to bear, even as you bear one as well.
The wrestling with God is all about the cross St Josemaria mentions; Jeremiah’s being deceived gives us the answer as well. Here is how Jeremiah sees the matter resolve…..
9 But when I say, “I will forget the LORD and no longer speak in his name,” then your message is like a fire burning deep within me. I try my best to hold it in, but can no longer keep it back. Jeremiah 20:9 (TEV)
It is seen in Jacob realizing the answer to the unanswered question, Who was this man? Jacob’s realization – it is God, I have seen His face. I even wrestled with Him, and He and I survived.
God came to me, He is here. He has come to you as well, and sometimes, the battle is on. We fight him, we try to forget Him, we do everything we can…. and He is still here. King David describes this as well in Psalm 139 – where he tries to flee God, and realizes His silliness.
The blessing? The reason we fight Him? It’s found in the very fight. He will wrestle with us, without destroying us. He comes to us, and engages with us, and cares enough to see the battle through. To let us rant and rave, and yeah – even sometimes cry, but in the end…. realizing His presence… we find peace.
That is the blessing..
A blessing that makes the cross glorious, that makes the struggle amazing, that makes God’s message, something we cannot dismiss or ignore… for it burns inside us.
To realize God has come to us, to you, to me. That He is here, with mercy and comfort, love… and a peace that we cannot explain. Even as we are exhausted from the fight, and weary from the burden of the cross… and though we still don’t get the entire story…. we know all that matters…..
He is here…and that is our blessing.
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 514-517). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on April 3, 2014, in Devotions, The Forge and tagged blessings, Escaping God? Abiding with God, God deceived me, Journeys, love mercy, peace, practicing the presence of God, the cross, the cross we bear, Turmoil, wrestling with God. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.