The Sign of BlessingDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
“Then he said, ‘Let me go, for the day has broken.’ But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’ ”
You can wrestle with God, you can struggle with God, but you will not have power over God to define who God is.
I’m thinking about Jacob wrestling with God.
Jacob is awoken one night by a figure who wrestles him until morning. When the figure announces Jacob must release him, Jacob refuses unless the figure blesses him. The blessing comes in the form of renaming: Jacob becomes Israel.
Just before this, the figure, realizing it cannot overpower Jacob, has touched the socket of his hip, causing it to dislocate. After Jacob is renamed Israel, he goes forth from that place limping. He is granted the blessing—Israel will someday be the chosen people of God—but it comes at a cost. The limp is the sign of the blessing.
God is a bit antagonistic in this story, even more so than the wrestling implies. When Jacob asks for the figure’s name, the response is curt: “Why do you want to know my name?” God is warning Jacob. You don’t get to name God. You can wrestle with God, you can struggle with God, but you will not have power over God to define who God is the way God does when God names Israel.
But how often are we willing to even wrestle? How often do we fear the limp so much that we won’t engage God in the first place? God would have us come fight it out, get dirty and angry and bold. The line is when we try to control God, not when we wrestle.
The sign of blessing is the limp.
Yet how many of us are so proud that we do not struggle to walk?
QUESTION FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Do you walk a little too upright to be truly walking intimately with God?
PRAYER: O God, who is rich in blessing and every good thing, teach us to so want you and your goodness that we do not fear to ask of you all that we can imagine and to trust that even in our wounds you have promised us abundance through Christ, our Lord. Amen.