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Wrestling with God?


If your only source of news and encouragement is the TV, I’d unplug it quickly. At least, I don’t find many uplifting thoughts coming from national spokespersons. I love to hear stories of real Americans putting others first and good results happening from the backbone of our nation. And I see that happening on a local level almost daily.

Sure if you look for the crazy haters, they are there. Always have been. Always will be — until they ask Jesus to change them.

Every morning as our eyes open and we realize it’s a new day, we have an immediate choice. (And I’m not talking about coffee or in my case iced tea, biscuits and gravy, pancakes or eggs.) But those are some good thoughts!

We have a choice to let God go before us and work out the details of our day, or we can worry, stew and try to make a plan we think might work. (Warning: Adversity is always ahead … every day!)

My Bible reading the last few days has dealt with the twin brothers Esau and Jacob. I tend to forget they are twins because they are so different and spend 20 years apart after Jacob cheated his brother out of the birthright and blessing of the first born.

Since I don’t have 20 years to catch you up, Jacob escapes with nothing and returns with so many family members, employees and herds of animals he could easily give away 550 various sheep, goats, camels, etc. to his brother Esau as a “I’m sorry I was a dufus. But I’m returning home” gift.

Jacob was so afraid of his brother’s reaction, especially when it was reported Esau was meeting him with 400 men. That doesn’t sound like a friendly welcome to me either.

Yet, during the 20 years away, Jacob had turned his life over to His God. Not just the God of his grandfather Abraham, or his father Isaac, but HIS God. It wasn’t an easy journey for Jacob. The Genesis account records twice that Jacob wrestled with God all night long.

I wouldn’t call my sleep last night “wrestling with God” but I did have some concerns that wouldn’t leave my brain alone. I woke up tired! Not good. I’ll be happy to share my swirling thoughts if you ask, but for word count issues, I can’t here. I still don’t know how everything will work out, but I’m determined to let God go before me and work it all out.

In the case of Esau, he was thrilled to see his twin brother again and ran to him to give him a big hug around the neck. What a site that is to this momma, when I see our grown sons greet each other in an airport after a lengthy time apart. (And there wasn’t the need to bring 550 animals with them!!!)

So how do we let God go before us and work out details that only He can?

First, we must recognize He is a Holy God, a jealous God. He doesn’t want you trying to work out the details. He’s got Plan A all worked out to the second and wants to see you trust and follow His plan. Remember He is our Good Shepherd. When times are difficult, He will carry us.

Second, we must continue to fill our hearts and minds with sounds and words that backup those thoughts. Uplifting music, podcasts, blogs, books — our culture is overloaded with good choices to make.

Third and most important, you must belong to God. Turn in your “I can do it myself” badge and recognize He wants to rescue you from your own sin and stupidity. (Yes, I typed the ‘s’ word!!!) Sheep left to themselves are stupid. And so are humans. Even on my best behavior, there are times I want to really tell someone what I think about their goofiness. But I feel the Holy Spirit saying, “Don’t you dare. I know what they are saying is a lie. Let me handle it.”

And if I have a moment of smartness, I give in to let God deal with the crazies. But it isn’t easy.

Jacob had a father-in-law who cheated him over and over in the 20 years he worked for him to gain his brides (Yes … that is plural) and animals. But Jacob finally gave up his own deceitful nature and left it to God. (Genesis Chapters 25-33)

“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32 NLT.


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