In high school, I never watched wrestling so I’m entirely clueless on this sport, except that I have an offspring who’s doing this sport now 🙂
So I’m learning things that are important & useful for daily living.
Here’s some things I’m learning from watching wrestling:
Preparation is important: if you want to succeed, it’s helpful to more than show up
Mistakes foster learning: it takes lots of learning to win & mistakes can be helpful ingredients for learning
Be willing to change: a flexible strategy can facilitate winning
Let’s not forget that Jacob wrestled with an angel of God all through the night in Genesis 32. He acquired.permanent limp & he was changed in both name & character. Sometimes we need to wrestle to grow & gain!
Fighting is an interesting concept that gets practiced in many different ways:
the guy who flips me off because I cut in front of his car
fighting in Afghan, Iraq, Libya & other areas
fighting with our spouse over little things portending a bigger issue
fighting with a friend over a misunderstanding or something that is wrong
There are lots of ways of fighting, some of which are better than others. When I was first married, Reece & I would have some normal disagreement, but my way of handling the conflict was to just shut down & disengage (aka – silent treatment). Reece didn’t really put up with that technique, saying that there was nothing constructive accomplished w my silence – it didn’t help resolve the conflict, make any progress toward a common goal or do anything constructive. Quickly, I realized that he was right. Since then, Reece & I can definately have some fights & heated conversations, but we don’t clam up & get silent. We also don’t take shots at each other’s person – we may not like the other’s behavior, but we don’t attack each directly. Consequently, while we’ve had some pretty sturdy conflicts, we also have developed some really good honesty & intimacy over the years.
I think the idea of working through a conflict with God is even more important than when we work through a conflict w our spouse. I don’t think that God is into a passive intimacy with us, where we just roll over & play dead. Think about some of the great men in the Bible: Job, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Peter, . . . . These men all had conflicts with God – good honest “fights” where they disgreed with God, wrestled with Him, challenged His integrity, confronted the discrepencies in the world with God’s character & sometimes just flat out debated with God. If we genuinely want a close relationship with God, there will be times when we will disagree with Him & I don’t think this makes Him nervous. Engaging with God whether through intense love or frustration & even anger is better than indifference & passivity. There is such a thing as a “right fight”.
I’ve never been one to watch wrestling – even in my teenage tv watching years i couldn’t get into it. Be that as it may, one of my fav Bible stories is with Jacob & him wrestling with God in Gen 32:22-31. I totally love this story because its very confrontational & has so many good life lessons. Here are a few things that stand out to me:
Jacob wrestled alone: no one helped him, came to his rescue or even cheered for him. This wrestling match was between God & Jacob. There will be times when God will (or has) invite(d) you to wrestle through a problem with Him, by yourself. Don’t try to get other people to join your cause – wrestling is a one-on-one sport.
Jacob wrestled in the dark: he couldn’t see well, possibly lost his bearings from time to time & couldn’t really tell what was going on around him. Sometimes when we wrestle w God, we can’t really see what’s going on – uncertain future, obscure present, unclear direction, etc.
Jacob left this experience w a limp. Whenever you wrestle w God, expect to be changed. Infinite will always overcome finite.
Jacob didn’t let go, even when his hip was wrenched. There are times when we want to quit on God, walk away, drop out of church, unplug & disconnect from Him – especially when we’re in a wrestling season w God. But these are the exact times when we need to hold onto Him the most.
There are lots of thoughts & insights about Jacob’s wrestling match w God – care to share any of your insights? 🙂
Ever struggled with God? What are some things that you’ve struggled w God about? I’m asking because tomorrow night i’m speaking about wrestling w God from Jacob’s experience in Gen 32. Truthfully, I LOVE this story of the interchange between God & Jacob. Its very gripping to me.
Personally, I’ve wrestled w God about a few things that include: uncertainty in my future, frustrations w various situations, relationships, not trusting God because things didn’t always turn out like i wanted, . . . . These are just a few things & I’m inviting you to share some of the things you’ve wrestled w God about – this would help me w my message & others to see that they’re not alone with this kind of experience. 🙂