Blessings Through Wrestling
When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacobʼs hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. (NIV)
As we persevere through trials in our lives, God strengthens our faith.
Growing up on the Gulf Coast, I was out on the water every chance I got. We were in the Gulf of Mexico fishing one day when I caught a small shark. In the process of releasing it, it turned back on me catching my hand with its mouth. Even small sharks have an impressive array of teeth; therefore, it left me with a cut on my thumb which turned into a small scar. Despite my “shark bite,” we had another great day on the water with many fond memories. Every time I see the scar, I am reminded of all that happened on that trip.
Just like the scar on my thumb, God wrenched Jacobʼs hip leaving him with a limp the rest of his life. It reminded him of that day and his perseverance wrestling with God in order to get His blessing. God is working in all our lives the same way He did with Jacob. We all have physical, emotional and spiritual scars from various trials God allowed into our lives. He sends trials in our life to grow us, mold us, and make us more into His image. In Romans 8:28 the Bible tells us that God works through all things for the good of those that love Him. He loves us too much to leave us the way we were, but we must persevere through the trial, holding tightly to our faith, until God removes it at the appointed time. In James 1: 2, the Bible tells us that when we face trials, it will test our faith but also develop perseverance. James 1: 12 says, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”
How we face and persevere through these trials will determine what the outcome will be. Are we going to put our faith and trust in God or in ourselves? We will all be “marked” by something. It can be scars from our disobedience of Godʼs will for our lives, which can be due to the consequences from following our own selfish desires. However, we can also choose to be marked by work of the Holy Spirit flowing out of us. This can be seen through the fruits of the Spirit at work in our lives. This is the result of faithfully following Godʼs will for us. We will all be marked by the “scars of life” that will remind us daily of where we came from and how God is constantly working in our lives. Itʼs up to us to decide what kind of scars we want to have. James 1: 5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” We should always trust Godʼs promises.