I’ve been wrestling lately.
A couple nights ago, about the time when I usually begin to poke Donny and ask him to pray over my eye, my questioning was more of a plea.
When you pray over my eye, will you also pray over my joy?
Will you also ask the Lord to show you things for me?
Desperate is a good word to describe my current state.
“Do you think you’re depressed? Do you think you need medication? I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on,” he said.
I see my joy, I explained. I know there are reasons to be filled. But it’s like there is a wall. I can see it but I can’t figure out how to get to it.
So I’m wrestling.
And I’m sad I’m even wrestling, if I’m being honest.
I’ve ever been great at in-betweens and this feels like that. I feel like something is coming and I want it so bad, but I want it now. Doesn’t the Lord know this is a season of acceleration? Kairos timing, Lord. Can I just have it, Father?
The story of Jacob wrestling with ‘the man’ in Genesis has always been a bit confusing to me. There he is, awaiting the moment where he comes face to face with his brother Esau- the same brother who Jacob stole the birthright and blessings from, and he is thinking strategy, worried over the worst case scenarios that seem more likely of the Esau he once knew than not.
There he is, lining up a parade of blessings.
Goats. Ewes. Rams. Camels. Cows. Bulls. Donkeys.
The Passion Translation commentary equates what Jacob gifted Esau with that of the stolen birthright. “It wasn’t mine to take. Here, I’m giving it all back to you.”
There he is, lining up a parade of his people.
Wives and their children, from least favorite to favorite, saving Rachel and Joseph for the very end of the line incase something were to go wrong early on.
Night fell before the brothers reunited, and Jacob sent all his people and possessions across the nearby river to be left alone. There, the man appears and begins to wrestle Jacob all night.
Close to daybreak, the man tried to break it up. “Its almost morning,” he said. But Jacob refused. When the man saw he wasn’t going to win with Jacob, he struck his hip out of joint. And yet, that still didn’t stop Jacob.
“I won’t stop until you bless me!” He said.
And that’s when the Lord renamed him. No longer Jacob.
You are Israel.
So all that for a blessing of name change. Why mangle Jacob’s hip and give him a limp?
The following day, when Jacob gifted Esau the animals, showed him the long line of his descendants, and the procession came to a close and left he and his brother standing face to face, walking up to each other, Esau would be greeted by weakness. His eyes would see a man walking toward him who wrestled and came out with a limp, hobbling toward him.
If Jacob’s referring to himself as Esau’s servant didn’t do the trick, if the gifts trying to ‘return the birthright’ didn’t do the trick, when Esau saw his brother limping toward him,
there was room for compassion.
Jacob wrestled with God and was blessed.
His limp was just as much part of his breakthrough as the Lord sealing him as a nation.
Psalm 32 says, “Your joyous shouts of rescue release my breakthrough.”
Release your shouts of joy, Father, and it’ll shake my breakthrough loose!
Maybe the ending of this isn’t a pick-me-up, but there is HOPE. This is not for nothing, friend. Your struggles are not for funsies. God hasn’t closed his eyes or turned from your direction. He is purposeful, you are His child, and He is a good Father and gift-giver. Which means this has purpose. There is goodness here. Keep wrestling. Keep singing loud praises. Keep dancing like David.
Breakthrough is coming.