Some days it seems I’m in a wrestling match that has no end. People come against the truths I speak to them. Those I love seem not to love me back. Precious ones I care about deeply make wrong choices and reject the wisdom I offer.
The hardest days can be when I’m in a wrestling match with God.
On those days I’m trying to tell God how things should be and give Him some advice on how to straighten circumstances out in my life and in the lives of my loved ones. He ignores my demands.
At times I demand God explain why, and my encounter with Him is filled with heavy sighs.
I find myself wrestling with doubt, and my mind battles against lies like this one: God must not care as much about me as He does her because she is more blessed than me and has the positive circumstance I’ve been praying for for decades.
I wrestle with God about the tasks He has called me to which seem impossible to accomplish for someone like me who is not qualified to accomplish them—for a weakling like me who some days has so little strength and stamina.
As I contemplated this idea of wrestling, God revealed that it’s good that I wrestle before Him in prayer rather than away from Him where if I wrestle with negative thoughts, they could win.
In Genesis 32 (see verse 22-32) I read about Jacob wrestling with God. His wrestling came when God was calling Him to a task that was difficult and even life-threatening—reconciling with his brother, Esau, whom he had deceived.
The tasks before me seem difficult as well: to love those who don’t seem to love me back, to continue to speak truth to those who often reject it, and to reach out with the good news of the Gospel to a world that is bent on pleasure and resisting God.
Not long ago I wrestled with God about the prodigals in my life. I wrote down my thoughts and my prayers in my journal. Then I asked God, What do You have to say? That’s when the rest came in the midst of my wrestling.
Here’s part of what God spoke to my heart: “Receive my peace. The enemy is tormenting you. Your prodigals will return to Me. Remember I am not in time. It’s not taking years. It’s already answered. Thank Me for their return. Repent of pride…”
As I reread all I had written before my listening, I saw that when I wrestle with God, I’m wrestling to try to gain control. Rest comes as I surrender to Him, the all-wise, all-knowing God who loves me and those I love more than I can even imagine.
Here is a quote about wrestling that I found online:
“Don’t wrestle through the night as Jacob did. Acknowledge God’s perfect, loving ways and surrender to Him. Let His comfort renew your hope (Psalm 94:19*). Cling to Him and stand amazed as you encounter the living God.” (Jennifer Benson Schuldt from “Wrestling With God” on Godtube)
Thank You, Jennifer. I’m determined to do just that.
*When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:19 NIV
REST = Release Everything; Simply Trust
Here is a song that lifted me up during a time a wrestling recently. It is “Shoulders” by For King and Country.