The Wrestling Match

862415_58406763Job did it, Jacob did it, Jonah did it and we do it. Many, if not all of the people in the Bible have wrestled with God’s will. Job wanted to die, but God didn’t take him. Jacob wanted to rule, but God showed Jacob he was in charge. Jonah wanted to hate, but God said to love. We want our way and we don’t always get it. We don’t always like that which God allows or asks of us. What mother of a sick child delights in their child’s sickness? Who asks for declining health or loss of employment? These events can come upon us like a whirlwind. Can’t wait to talk to Job about his whirlwind one day. What about the unforeseen accident that renders you helpless or lifeless? The out of nowhere pink slip that leaves you wondering “where did I mess up?” Why do we react so strongly against what God is allowing in our lives? Why do we wrestle with what we know God is telling or asking us to do?

Fear, plain and simple. The all to familiar feeling that makes you sweat and hits you right in the gut. We fear that God is making a mistake. We’re afraid that we can’t handle or cope with what He’s allowed in our lives. We fear the process of change because we don’t like to hurt and change usually hurts. It’s just not easy. When we’re asked to change we have to move from familiarity to faith, as we tally up the costs we may determine we just can’t pay the price. It’s too high. “You’re asking me to go, do and accept what?” Fill in the blank. What comes to your mind? Besides the fear, we just like to have things our way. Life isn’t like a burger joint, where you decide you don’t want pickles and they’re instantly removed. No pickles for you or you just won’t buy that burger. Wrong! We don’t always get to pick and choose what happens to us. We struggle against the thought of having to eat pickles, because after all you’ve never liked pickles and it’s just ruining your burger. Enough about pickles. I actually like them, but you get my point. We want to stay wrapped up in our own cocoon of comfort. The cocoon of safety and familiarity will become a prison if we stay there too long. It will keep us from evolving from a caterpillar to a glorious butterfly. The fact is our life is like the weather. As they say in Tennessee “stick around long enough and it will change.” Did you catch that? I’ll repeat it, because I need to hear this myself. Your life is like the weather, stick around long enough and it will change. Oh, there are some things that never change. God never changes. The rising and setting of the sun never changes. The flow of the tide hasn’t changed and the fact of aging and death still eventually affect us all. Life though is mostly ever-changing. Even the skin cells on your body regenerate constantly. Even though God does not change, He’s in the changing business. In fact I believe He likes it. God’s all about change, changing us. Henry Blackaby stated in his book Experiencing God,  “You can’t stay the way you are and go with God.” We are called to change. God delights in our changing. We can’t be set free until we go through the process of releasing that which binds us. We can’t experience a renewed mind unless we go through the renewing process of replacing old thoughts, with new ones and that involves change. Change doesn’t happen overnight, so if we’re gonna serve a God that loves change we’ve got to be willing to accept change ourselves. Even when our heart is crying out, “No, no, no!” It’s not supposed to be this way. Who are we to question God? We are to submit our requests to Him, going confidently before the throne, I’ll be praying right along with you, but pray mostly for God’s will and your heart to be in agreement with His.

Our Pastor recently addressed a group of us at my church about an upcoming change that seemed to come about rather suddenly. Our “whirlwind”. He alluded to the fact that we have a false sense of control in our lives and it’s so true. We make our plans as if we by the making of them can override God’s. Sometimes things will go our way and we will be healed or be blessed in some way but,often times we won’t get what we ask for. Or if we do get an answer it’s different from what we had expected. We’re only kidding ourselves if we think we have control of our lives. We can’t even will our next breath. As painstaking as it is at times we need to let go and let God! If we don’t we may end up like Jonah, in the belly of a fish! We don’t have to like all that God allows. God understands our hurts and He feels them as well. We need to know that despite the pain we are we are growing. Our growing pains will mature us to be more Christlike. God in His infinite wisdom knows what’s best. Trusting Him and believing in faith that He is in control and truly loves us will bring our hearts to peace and then we will step away from the wrestling match of our will against God’s. God’s guidance and providence is stronger than we are and the sooner we realize that the better off we’ll be.

3 thoughts on “The Wrestling Match

  1. I seem to remember that butterfly analogy—even acting it out for a Sunday School assembly once. Very good point—God does not change, but He loves to see it in us coming closer to Him!

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