Monday, 19 September 2011

The joy of wrestling with God

 “Jacob said, Please tell me your name. But he replied, Why do you ask my name? Then he blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared. The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.” 
Gen 32:29-31.

Wrestling by its very nature is painful. Wrestling with God is no less  so, even though we know it is for our own good that He arrests us, takes hold of us, and grapples us to the ground if need be. Jacob limped away from wrestling with God.  

Yet I am starting to see that there is a deep, profound joy in this wrestle.

For one thing, it is a joyful thing that God Himself would condescend to wrestle with His creatures at all! That He would recognise our weakness, and hold Himself back from wrestling us to the point of ruin, instead seeking our own good through it. For let me be clear, when I speak of wrestling with God I am not speaking of us raising our fists to heaven and angrily demanding an explanation from Him as to His ways. I am speaking of the wonder and awesomeness of His dealing with us intimately in order to break us to a point of submission to His Way.

Not only the fact that we can wrestle with God – but it is His sovereign act of will to engage with us.  “So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.” – Genesis 32:24. The Man came to Jacob. Is there anything more joyful than this? That God would choose to open our eyes that we might see more clearly, understand that little bit more of His ways which are so much higher than our ways, that we might know Him better, more deeply, see more of His Glory and give Him more praise as a result!

He gives us the strength to enable us to wrestle with Him. No mortal man is capable of wrestling with Almighty God in his own weakness – it is He who supplies the strength for us to do this, who gives us the very desire in our hearts to know more of Him, who gives us the desire to cling onto Him and not let go until we have received a blessing from Him…

Which is the source of more great joy – wrestling with God results in blessing! To struggle with Him, to have our eyes opened to more of our sin, to see more of His Holiness and Majesty, to acknowledge His sovereignty over every aspect of our lives, to bow our will to His – we cling to Him and dare not let go until we have received His blessing of this enlarged vision and a greater filling of His Spirit!

As I continue to wrestle with God, no matter how painful it may be, no matter how much I am limping, I count it pure joy that my God has not finished with me yet and would deign to reveal more of Himself to me, that I may see Him, the One my heart yearns for, more clearly - and that He would bless me in the very process! 


  1. What a beautiful reflection dear friend! How true it is! The very fact that He would engage us is reason alone to rejoice and be glad. He could very well leave us to our own devices but He choses to condescend and "wrestle" with His own creation -- and could there even be a safer place to be? I think not! And I loved how you said "wrestling with God results in blessing!" Yes! Beautiful, Diana.

  2. Teary eyed..Im so bleesed to read this blog. Thank you Diana!

  3. Hi Joanne
    Thank you so much for reading and for your really encouraging comment! May God bless you as you walk and wrestle with Him :)