the right fight

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”.

wrestling thoughts

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?  🙂

wrestling / struggling w God

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.  🙂