Genesis records a wrestling match. It’s not really a smack-down or even a caged match. God shows up and wrestles a man named Jacob.
Now Jacob has been self-defining his whole life. He has often taken things into his own hands to accomplish what he wanted. He stole his brothers’ blessing, tricking and conning it out of him instead of waiting for God to give it to him. Jacob was always working an angle; always defending and protecting himself, trusting no one, always fighting his own battles.
But now Jacob is in a fight he cannot win. He wrestles with God all night and is unable to gain any ground. But he doesn’t quit; he won’t give up. And then God gives him a painful lesson.
While Jacob is holding his ground, God, with a single touch, throws Jacob's hip out of joint. Jacob the wrestler is now Jacob the clinger. He is holding on to God. This is a redefining moment for Jacob—he has never really lost before, at least, not like this. He has always been able to rely on his own strength or cunning or fortitude. But now he has lost control. He no longer has the high ground. Now everything has changed.
Jacob hangs on to God and says he won’t let go until God blesses him. He may have been somewhat smug before, but he is smart enough to know when he is beaten. He will limp with the reminder of this encounter for the rest of his life.
God isn’t offended by our wrestling with Him. And he doesn’t wrestle us just to win; he wasn’t bullying Jacob. He wrestles to show us a little more of who we are, and, in the process, a lot more of who He is.
-Pastor Dino Griffin