Thursday, July 10, 2008

Genesis 32 - why I wrestle

I love my counselor. I know that sometimes, particularly in Christian circles, counselors get bad raps. And it's true, there are some bogus counselors out there. Just like there are bogus accountants, bogus mechanics and bogus every other profession.

But my counselor is prone to saying small things that rock my world in a big way.

About a year ago, I confessed some frustration I was having with God. I just felt like I was struggling with Him, like we were pushing each other around and battling over a few issues. My counselor listened and then said,

"God loves that."

This is not the answer I was expecting. I thought he would say, "You need to trust the Lord more." Or "You need to let go and let God." But he didn't say that. He said that God loves when I wrestle with Him. I of course asked why.

"Jon, do you know what is true about wrestling? Have you ever stopped to think about the nature of wrestling? God loves to wrestle with us, because you can't wrestle with someone that is far away. They have to be close to you. It's a very intimate, personal activity."

And I think he was right. I think that God wants me close. I think He wants me near to His side, close enough to feel His breath and know His strength. And when I approach to wrestle over an issue with Him, like Jacob wrestling, I don't think He is angry. I think He is happy, because I am close.

22 comments:

another lisa said...

thanks, jon.
my mom is going thru a wrestling season, so i directed her to you today. tears ensued.
gotta get your 97 seconds into print. maybe in time for churches to give them for next year's graduation gifts?

imgladyouasked said...

Wow, thanks.

Hayley said...

Hey,
I have been reading SCL for a month or so and I love it soooo much. I laugh at how spot on you describe all of the things that I love and also the things that make me cringe about us Christians. But this is my first visit to 97SWG and I am definately going to have to add a link to my blog. I can't wait to read your take on some of the books that people usually skip over or sleep through. Thanks for all of your insight.

eastern ky pastor said...

How else can we be transformed into accepting that God's way is right, unless we wrestle with Him. I believe all mature Christians walk with a limp, like Jacob. Gives, For when I am weak, then I am strong a whole new meaning!

Walt Everly said...

Jon, my wife has stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, and it looks like she's entering the beginning of the end. As you might imagine, I've been wrestling with God quite a bit lately.

When I read your words just now I broke down and cried because the guilt, frustration, fear and anger were instantly replaced by the image of a loving God. Thank you so much.

jalack said...

Jon, I love you SCL blog but this one is where it's at. Thank you for bringing the different perspective, you have really given me something more to study.

katdish said...

That's awesome. Seriously -- I love that concept.

dorothy (vicar of vibe) said...

Wow!
Just wow!

In God's Hands said...

I love that, thank you! It might have to go in my 'brill blogs' section.

(BTW. You're not just a link on my site, you're on my blog roll (not that I'm competitive or anything!)

PS. I also forwarded the recent blog about Rest (aka Red Bull) from "Stuff Christians Like" to a friend & it was really helpful to her, thanks again.

Stacy from Louisville said...

Have you read Disappointment With God by Philip Yancey? I think you would love it based on what you have written here. In one part of the book he talks about Jacob wrestling with God for a blessing. Though this is not a direct quote he says something along the lines of: I'd rather wrestle with God and walk away with a limp than see God and just walk away.

I read that 14 years ago and it is still with me.

Stacy from Louisville said...

Hey Walt -
I didn't see a personal e-mail address so I'll leave my comment here and hope you see it.

Thank you for sharing about your wife. Though you don't know me, I am sorry for your pain and I can't imagine. I will be praying for the comfort and strength of your family.

Stacy

jamie in rose cottage said...

Wow, didn't see that coming. Thanks for sharing this.

Jeremy said...

Kinda puts a whole new spin on "wrestling with sin," doesn't it?

AA said...

Excellent point, Jon, but you need an editor. ;) Or, does your counselor speak in broken English? "Jon, do you know?? what is true about wrestling?" Just helping you score that book deal. :)

Beth said...

Thank you, Jon, for that image. I've been wrestling with God for about a year now over some really deep work He wants to do in my life. And the interesting thing is I feel much closer to God through this season of wrestling than I have felt in a long time. I look forward to my daily dose of laughter and inspiration from all your blogs.

Beth

Katherine Laine said...

I imagine God sees wrestling in the same way a father and son wrestle on the living room floor.

Robert said...

Wow, ok that rock my world thank you.

Trina said...

I like that you point out something new that everyone misses. That's why I come here everyday.

I loved this post. Thank you.

Augustino said...

Wow PJ – I enjoy grappling with people, and now I don’t have to continuously wonder what’s wrong with me for so often being deadlocked in wrestling holds with God. I translated this post into Spanish for my wife (an English resister and a pro wrestler too) – I’m guessing she will benefit from it as much as I have. THANKS!

Crystal said...

I have been wrestling with God and I feel like I'm loosing! Can you really win? Really? Lol.

He's told me to wait for something in my life, yet a door is open to me that won't shut. I try to walk away from it, it comes back. I run from it, it returns...I push it back it shows back up!

I'm frustrated so frustrated...

Thank you for your post. It makes sense.

Flesheater said...

I've known for a while G-d likes to wrestle.

But I've never really thought about the fact, that to wrestle with someone, you have to be pretty close to them

this is a very interesting thing

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