Wrestling With God

Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "To God Be The Glory"1 (Lyrics)

I enjoy spectator sports of all kinds, but until recently, I had not been very familiar with wrestling. Oh yes, I know about theatrical, slam-bam wrestling as seen on television, but youth wrestling is entirely different. A family friend is the manager for her high school wrestling team, so I have attended several school wrestling meets to watch her team compete. I watch in horrified fascination as bodies and limbs are seemingly bent into impossible pretzel shapes, with joints at risk of being wrenched out of place. Extensive rules and careful oversight by the referee help to ensure safety, but injuries can still happen. I sometimes feel like holding my breath and watching through my interlaced fingers.

Wrestling is both a beautiful and horrifying sport. It is hinged on leverage and strength, tension and torque, timing and patience. Indeed, there is a strange beauty in the persistent, determined, and carefully calculated moves that wrestlers make. Spectators and wrestlers alike can be thankful for timed rounds; otherwise, a match with all its circling, grasping, and feinting could seem endless.

As I've watched wrestling matches, the story in Genesis 32:22-32 of Jacob wrestling with "a man" has become much more meaningful to me. Though Jacob asked this stranger His name, it is clear that he knew with Whom he was wrestling, saying a short time later, "I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared." (Genesis 32:30 NLT) Though Jacob was not wrestling to win a prize or medal, he knew that much was at stake. In order to receive God's blessing, he fought with all his might through the night. There was no timekeeper present for that match!

We, too, may frequently wrestle with difficulties and uncertainties in our lives. What is our response to these struggles? Are we prone to grumble and complain, and perhaps even to argue with God, begging for relief? Even when we may wish that God would choose different ways of orchestrating our lives, we can know deep within ourselves that He always has a good and gracious plan for us. Tim Keller has said, "God will only give you what you would have asked for if you knew everything He knows."

1 Peter 4:19 – So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you. (NLT)

Let's remember that we can be confident that great blessing will come along with hardship when we trust God to measure out both as He knows best.

Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, as we wrestle with the challenges and uncertainties of life — and sometimes even with You and Your ways — may we learn to fully trust in You and commit our lives unreservedly to You, knowing that You will always do what is best for us. Amen.

Forward this devotional     Share this devotional on Facebook     Like PresbyCan on Facebook

About the author:

Gail Lundquist <gail10833@gmail.com>
Beaverton, Oregon, USA

Send your feedback to the author

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Pray – for guidance, comfort, peace.

    Perhaps that match wasn’t as short as I’ve always imagined.

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.

    Thank you, Gail, for this encouragement. It’s a lesson I’m learning right now.

    Gail, this is certainly one of your best devotionals with vivid word pictures to illustrate the difficult wrestling. I could feel it and relate. Thanks!

    Hi Gail, I always enjoy your writing and the truths we find in it. Truths that can only be found in the precious Word of God. Thanks for sharing.

    Good afternoon, Gail,
    There are indeed many challenges to wrestle with. Thank you for writing.

    Thank you, Gail, for another of your very encouraging devotionals , a great analogy of the word “wrestling”. Yes, our Lord truly delivers the right outcome of matters we “wrestle” with in life. Blessings for your special writings.

    Whenever I wrestle with God, He “always” wins and I come away realizing once again that God’s grace is sufficient for me for when I am weak, He is strong.
    Thank you, Gail, great devotional I enjoyed it very much!

Previous Post

PresbyCan is a community of faithful, Holy Spirit-filled, Christ-centred, God-honouring Christians.