This week I am at a young people’s event. There are loads of excellent teaching sessions and worship times. My husband and I have the honour of spending time with and hearing many of the young people’s stories. There are many who are going through tough things that are shaping and affecting them.
This page in my Bible seems to be applicable for this week and only emphasizes what is happening all around me. I love that GOD speaks in the Bible for the then but also for the now.
Jacob put in place the things that he thought would protect him. Due to what he had done, Jacob was a man who feared what his brother would do to him and his stuff. He split his possessions in half in the hope that some would survive and then sent gifts to his brother to try and win him over. His fear determined his actions. The same goes for us today. It is so easy to do and say things ‘just in case’. Sometimes it is wise to prepare for the future and fill our storehouses … but only when we are told to do so. Later in Genesis Joseph does just that, but Jesus taught about the fate of the one who built bigger barns to store up his wealth only to die and never enjoy it. Jacob was not told to do this, he reacted to fear. When we make a plan B alongside GOD’s plan A we are showing just how much we trust in GOD…
GOD meets with Jacob (with his fearful behavior) and does something incredible. There is an encounter with God and everything changes.
Jacob wrestles with GOD and will not let go. Wow! Wrestles with GOD? This week I will see young people wresting with emotions, circumstance and difficulties. There will be some that stay in that place. They will continue to try to deal with these things and somehow sort it out, they will build storehouses on their own. But our role is to bring them to the person of Jesus. He is the one that they need to turn to. He is the one that they need to wrestle with. There are difficult questions and feelings that need to be expressed and bought to GOD. Maybe we need to ask ‘Why?’ or process disappointment that He didn’t work our way. There are things we need to wrestle with God for. There are things that will fall away as we wrestle with our situations and circumstances in the light God. We need to just cling on to Him and let go of everything else. In fact, the act of clinging to Him means that we cannot cling to anything else. Surrender is key.
Jacob’s wrestling left him changed forever. He walked with a limp for the rest of his life. He was physically changed but he was also changed spiritually. From this point on he was as blessed and was able to call the God of his father and grandfather his own God. It is in the aftermath of a personal struggle that we have gone through with God at our side, that we see the biggest and most permanent of changes. The God of our knowledge becomes the God of our hearts. All superficial securities fall away.
I want to encourage you, cling onto GOD no matter what, He is big enough, strong enough and wise enough to handle everything.