Tumbling in the Sand
About this Blog (particularly its name): Genesis 32:22-32. Jacob is about to meet with his brother Esau for the first time in years. The last time they were even near each other, Esau had promised to kill Jacob for stealing from him. Let’s just say Jacob was a little worried; and so, he decides to spend the night alone, awake—maybe wondering, praying, struggling . . . Suddenly, this figure shows up out of the dark and Jacob and this unknown assailant wrestle all night long. As the dawn is breaking, Jacob’s hip is pulled out of joint (apparently a less-than-fair wrestling move) but he refuses to let go of the mysterious wrestler until he receives a blessing. At dawn, by the river called the Jabbok, Jacob is given the name Israel as a blessing—which probably means “he who struggles with God”—and he is left to limp into the rising sun in awe; stating, “I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.”
In all the theologizing, sermon writing, listening and rambling I do, this is what I hope for the most: that in my struggling with God and with faith, I will not walk away unscathed. I pray that I will be changed so that I can limp through the Jabbok river into the resurrection dawn, in awe that I have caught glimpses of God face to face and yet lived.
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