Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel,
for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.”
Genesis 32:22-31 is one of my favorite stories from Scripture – mainly because I like Jacob, I find myself wrestling with God often. When I was younger, I felt like I couldn’t ask questions about faith, because to question meant to doubt – and doubt was bad.
But as I’ve gotten older, as I’ve grown in faith as an adult, I realized something I wish I could have told the fourteen year old me – It’s okay. It’s okay to have questions. It’s okay to doubt. Sometimes – that’s where we find God.
Jacob wrestles with this angel/man/may actually be God, and he doesn’t give up. He is wounded by his wrestling. But Jacob does not let go.
Sometimes we have to wrestle with God too. And sometimes that marks us, maybe not with a limp, but maybe with something more. For me, my wrestling with God comes in questions, questions that may not ever have concrete answers – but questions that have shaped my faith, and helped me to foster my relationship with God. This wrestling, this striving, these questions, are what draw me closer to God.
Are there questions you’re wrestling with? Are you hanging on to God and not letting go? Is there something in your faith journey that has wounded you? How has your back and forth with God affected your faith and your life?