Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Clinging to God

I attend a Bible study every Tuesday night.  Some of you may be familiar with it as it is a non-denominational, international study called BSF.  We are studying Genesis this year.  I read ahead because I remembered Jacob wrestling with God and that God "touched his hip."  I was curious about it because Judy's husband broke his hip last December.  I wondered if there was some kind of connection. 

I discovered one.

Jacob was a wreck.  He had done his brother Esau ill years before and was about to meet him again for the first time.  This time he wanted to do things right.  He wanted to make up for what he'd done.  He wanted and needed forgiveness, but he was worried that his brother could not, would not forgive him.  The night before the meeting Jacob had an unusual encounter with a man.  The Bible doesn't say in Genesis 32: 24 that Jacob fell asleep, only that he was, "...left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.  When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.  Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak."  But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."  At that point the man said, " have struggled with God and men and have overcome."  And he blessed Jacob. 

In what I would call a "God incidence" later that day I randomly opened a book called, "Streams in the Desert" written by L.B. Cowman.  Frequently, I pick it up and use it for meditation.  I opened randomly to May 28 and there was an exposition of this very incident.  How often that happens! 

Jacob won the victory and the blessing not by wrestling, but by clinging.  "I will not let you go."  Unable to struggle any longer with his hip out of joint, he did what he could; he hung on.  Can't you almost see him locking his arms around his opponent's neck and refusing to give up?   

Many times I want God to answer my prayers the way I want Him to answer them.  I tell Him what I want Him to do.  Who do I think I am?  One thing I know for sure, I am not God.  And thanks be to God!  But when I surrender to His will, not only do I feel a tremendous relief, but I am almost immediately blessed with peace. 

An example is my deep, abiding concern that my husband has not accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior.  How long I have prayed!  And worried.  And feared.  But somehow during this time of Jack's recovery, my search for the story of Jacob, and the resulting entry in Mr. Cowan's book, I have given Jim to the Lord and I'm not going to take him back.  I'm not going to fuss anymore.  There is no one who wants my Jim to come to the Lord more than the Lord.  He knows my heart.  He's heard my prayers.  It's time to stop struggling and surrender to God's will.  "I will walk in the footsteps of faith," (Romans 4:12) even to moutain Abraham and Isaac climbed, the mountain of sacrifice.

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