BT Daily: Wrestling With God – Part 1

[Darris McNeely] When I was in high school,
I was a wrestler. We had collegiate wrestling introduced to
my high school class. It was one of the hardest things I ever did. Wrestling at that time was three two-minute
quarters, two guys on the mat going around. I thought, “Aw, we can do that”. It was the most exhausting, grueling two minutes
– four minutes, if I lasted that long – of my life. It was an exertion to wrestle. We grunted, we groaned, we – you know, voices
got loud at times, and you perspired, and it was a workout. I thought about that recently. I was speaking to a group of people in a sermon,
and I was talking about people going through suffering, people dealing with pain, dealing
with illness and severe trials, wrestling with God as they went through it. And I made the comment that it was okay to
get emotional with God as you prayed to God, talk with Him, and sought to understand why
things were happening to you. And in doing so, it developed some comment
and some discussion with others about that relationship that it takes to, in a sense,
get to a level of understanding with God. And all of that reminded me of a story that’s
in Genesis chapter 32. You know it well – where we have the patriarch
Jacob encountering what is said to be a Man, and he wrestles all night. Now, he, at the end of the story, finds out
that he’s wrestled with God, and God changes his name. But he wrestles all night with God. Now, that took a great deal of exertion and
at one point in the story, it says that the Man – whom we know to be God – says to
Jacob, “Let Me go,” and Jacob says, “I’ll not let You go until You bless me.” Well, eventually at the break of day, his
name is changed, the blessing is there, and Jacob says, “I have seen God”. And so he recognizes that he’s had a remarkable
encounter with God, the One who became Jesus Christ. But he – to get to that point, he had to
wrestle all night (Genesis 32:22-32). What’s the point for you and I in this? Well, at times in our lives, we’re going
to be called upon to wrestle with God in prayer, emotionally, to come to understanding of what
is happening in our life, what God is doing as He works with us personally, to perfect
us in the character for His kingdom that our calling requires. And we’re going to have to engage with God
and at times, engage to a point where we perspire, we groan, we travail in that relationship
to come to the understanding and also to the help that we will need to get through the
trial, to be able to stand but also to get through it, to understand what God is doing
with us. It’s a remarkable story. Wrestling with God today, emotionally and
in prayer, is very important. And when we come to that, it gets us to another
point that I’ll make in the next Beyond Today Daily in this series, “Wrestling with
God”. That’s BT Daily. Join us next time.

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